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The -stone griffin offers hospitality to the young 










First Published, August, 1931 






I wish to express my gratitude to a few of the 

people and organizations who have aided me 
in gathering material for this book. 

Fran Else Frobenius 3 Berlin. Dr. Klaus 
Mehnert, Berlin. Fraulein Dr. Mende ? Deutsche 
Archiv fiir Jugendwohlf ahrt, Berlin. Dr. K. O. 
Berding and Professor Grossman, Amerika In- 
stitut, Berlin. Mary Wigman, Dresden. Herr 
Gustaf Frenzel, Verkehrsamt, Cologne. Herr 
Dr. Konzelman, Deutsches Museum, Munich. 

Reichsbahnzentrale fiir den Deutschen Rei- 
severkehr 3 Berlin. Vereinige Carl Shurz, Ber- 
lin. Zentralinstitut fiir Erziehung und Unter- 
richt^ Berlin. 

Anne Merrlman Peck 



L Youth Takes to the Road 3 

II. The Youth Movement 23 

III. Youth Learns at School 37 

IV. Youth Studies the Universe 63 
V. The Young Peasant 80 

VL The Young Town Dweller 104 

VII. Dcr Neuer Mensch Healthy Mind 

in Healthy Body 125 

VIII. Youth at Play 145 

IX. Heydays and Holidays 162 

X. Young Germany Welcomes Young 

America 183 


The stone griffin offers hospitality to the 
young wanderers Frontispiece 

They march out from the old castle with 
banners and music PAGE n 


The "day room" of the Youth, Shelter at 
Cologne 48 

Young wanderers cook for themselves in 
most Youth Shelters 49 

Young craftsmen of Mittenwald making 
violins 64 

Students of the Bode School of Gymnastics 65 

Bavarians go out to ski 128 

The start of a ski contest 129 

Young dancers of the Wigman School 144 

Young Amazons enjoy sun and air 145 

The boys sing around their campfire PAGE 173 


|NE sunny day last summer I came into 
the ancient town o Freudenstadt in the 
Black Forest. The market place looked as gay 
as a picture book. The steep-gabled houses all 
around it had plastered fronts of blue, green, 
cream, and raspberry pink, and every window 
was a little flower garden. A pair of placid oxen 
hitched to a wide wooden haycart were munch- 
ing their noon meal of hay near the big stone 
fountain. I, too, made for the fountain, lured 
by the fresh cold water trickling from pipes 


set in a tall shaft. At its base scarlet geraniums 
nodded at their reflection in the basin. When 
I looked up I saw a mossy figure of a griffin 
looking down at me as though to say, "Well, 
stranger, where did you come from?" 

I tried to explain to the stone beast that al- 
though I looked so foreign in his lovely old 
town I really felt very much at home there. 
But by that time the griffin had something 
more interesting than me to look at, for swing- 
ing down the village street came a merry com- 
pany of young hikers. They seemed to belong 
to a very different world from that of the gay 
old houses and the fountain, for they were a 
husky, modern-looking group, tanned, bare- 
headed and bare4egged, with short socks fall- 
ing over heavy walking shoes. The griffin, I 
reflected, may think that they too have come 
from America. But on second glance I saw 
that they were not so much like our boys and 
girls after all, in spite of khaki shorts, bobbed 
hair, and sport dresses. Some of the group were 
dressed in an individual and romantic fashion 
quite at variance with hiking fashions in 
America. A boy of sixteen or so was wearing a 


bright blue linen jacket, another a black vel- 
veteen jacket and shorts,, with long hair flung 
poetically back. Some of the sturdy blonde girls 
still had long hair braided and pinned in buns 
over their ears. Some had rejected sport clothes 
altogether in favor of dresses of flowered cotton 
with puffed sleeves and full skirts. They all 
carried rucfyacfa as knapsacks are called in 
Germany, and one boy also had a guitar slung 
over his shoulder. 

In our country the people of a small pro- 
vincial town would stare at such a group but 
here nobody paid any attention to them as they 
came to the fountain and slipped off their packs 
to rest and get a drink. They greeted me with 
a friendly "Guten Tag" and presently I was 
trying to talk with them in disjointed German. 
Some of them had maps in glazed cases hang- 
ing at their belts and they showed me how they 
worked out their routes and explored the coun- 
try. They said that their particular group was 
spending their entire summer vacation (only 
about five weeks in Germany) on the road. I 
looked about for the grown person in charge 
of the group. There seemed to be none, so I 


inquired. Then I discovered the most wonder- 
ful thing about it all they were completely on 
their own! Here were boys and girls of from 
fourteen to sixteen wandering about the coun- 
try, making their own plans, free to explore 
according to their own will without the guid- 
ance of a grown-up. Don't we all long to ex- 
plore like that? 

Presently the young wanderers and I went 
our separate ways. I spent the afternoon ram- 
bling through some of the beautiful paths in 
. the forest outside the town. Here in the Black 
Forest the great fir woods are dim and mys- 
terious, the kind of wood where you expect to 
see witches and hobgoblins. Nowadays modern 
brownies in khaki haunt the forest trails laid 
out across the ridges of mountainous hills and 
down through the valleys. With a map and 
the signs with which the trails are marked one 
can work out a fine hiking trip. Germany, in 
fact, is an ideal land for tramping. The coun- 
try is delightful and interesting, and every- 
where there are good roads and enticing paths. 

Towards evening, as I was returning from 
my walk I saw a sign near tlie railway station^ 


"Jugendherberge" I knew what that meant 
for I had read of the Youth Shelters where boys 
and girls put up for the night. I went over to 
it and found a long low house with wide eaves 
and small-paned windows,, rather like the Black 
Forest farmhouses. As I was asking the woman 
in charge of the house if I might visit it, my 
friends of the morning appeared and invited 
me in. They showed me around with the great- 
est friendliness. There was a big "day room" 
furnished with long tables, chairs, a big porce- 
lain stove for cold weather, and a shelf of books 
and magazines. The fresh white curtains at the 
windows gave a homelike touch to the room. 
There were rooms full of bunks for boys and 
for girls, and washrooms for each with rows 
of basins and running cold water. In the kitchen 
there were several single-burner gas stoves as 
well as a big one, and some boys and girls were 
busily preparing supper for themselves. They 
told me that this Jugcndhcrbcrgc could shelter 
140 young people. 

I thought it would be so much fun to spend a 
night in the Shelter that I mentioned it hesi- 
tatingly to the Hausmutter, as they call the 


woman In charge. If It is a man who is taking 
care of the house he is called the Hausvater or 
Herbergvater* It was really against the rules 
for anyone to stay there without a membership 
card, but they were so interested to have some- 
one from America that I was asked to be their 

My young hosts produced sausage, bread, 
and jam from their packs and prepared cocoa 
and boiled eggs to add to the meal. While we 
sat over our supper they asked me many ques- 
tions about American boys and girls, and 
despite the great gaps in language between us 
we managed to understand one another very 
well. German young people have a strong de- 
sire for friendship and understanding with 
their comrades of other lands, and welcome 
them to their wander-trips. They told me that 
many English boys and girls stay at the Youth 
Shelters while on walking trips In Germany, 
and others come from Holland and the Scan- 
dinavian countries as well They are eager to 
have groups from our country too, I wish that 
we might wander through the Black Forest 
with them, for not only Is it interesting and 


good fun to hike In Germany., but there is a 
kinship in character between German and 
American youth and we could become good 
friends. With a little German to start with one 
would easily pick up a speaking acquaintance 
with the language, and often one would find 
companions who spoke some English. 

After supper some of the boys and girls gath- 
ered around the boy with the guitar and began 
to sing to his accompaniment. Spontaneously 
one lovely old folk song followed another rol- 
licking, sad 3 or romantic sung with so much 
spirit and joy that it was a delight to listen. 
These German youngsters sing as naturally as 
they talk and they love the beautiful old songs 
of the Fatherland. 

The bunks in the sleeping-rooms were fur- 
nished with blanket and pillow and in addition 
each hiker brought his own sleeping bag. I 
managed to rent one from the house. In the 
morning we had our coffee,, bread and jam to- 
gether and then parted with hearty and friendly 

This pleasant comfortable night's shelter 
had cost the wanderers thirty pfennigs, or 


about seven cents each. Think of a country full 
of little Inns just for boys and girls ! Herberg 
Is an old German word for inn and Jugend^ of 
course, is youth,, so there you have it Youth 
Inns. There are Youth Shelters all over Ger- 
many, generally in the country just outside 
towns, and the children have a booklet with a 
complete list of them. Younger children, as 
well as those in their *teens, have the fun of 
exploring though they travel with a teacher or 
older friend. Sometimes the older groups pre- 
fer to have a leader too. Young Germany has 
decidedly taken to the road and everyone 
unites to make it easy for them. The State Rail- 
roads give them special rates to travel third- 
class so that they may combine hiking with 
riding and thus cover long distances. 

In the course of my wanderings I visited 
several Jungcndherbergcn though this was my 
one experience of an overnight stay. There is 
great variety in these shelters- In some parts 
of the country deserted castles are used. Along 
the Rhine there are several and how it adds to 
the romantic atmosphere to sleep in castles 
while exploring that country of legends. In 

They march out from the old castle with banners 
and music. 


Saxony the grand old Schloss Hohnstein, high 
on a cliff, has been transformed into a Jugcnd- 
herbcrgc and accommodates 1200 young wan- 
derers. I have heard that there Is even a float- 
Ing Inn,, a steamer on the river Elbe In Saxony. 
In small places a farmhouse is sometimes used 
or rooms in a schoolhouse. In recent years 
many houses have been built especially for' 
youth, and In the whole country there are more 
than 2200 shelters for young hikers. 

In Cologne the association of -Jugendkcr^ 
bergen has done a wonderful thing in convert- 
Ing the huge barracks of pre-war days into a 
Youth Shelter. This Is indeed a children's 
hotel! You come into a big hall where boys 
and girls are arriving., slipping off their packs 
and registering for the night. At one side Is a 
big attractive day room pleasantly furnished. 
I looked in and saw groups chatting over the 
suppers which they had fixed for themselves. 
There is a canteen where guests may buy milk 
and soft drinks, a self-help kitchen where two 
big boys were making themselves a pot of 
soup, and another big kitchen with every elec- 
trical equipment. Here the children who have 


a few extra pennies may buy a supper or lunch 
for from fifty to eighty pfennigs, about twelve 
or fifteen cents. I saw appetizing platefuls be- 
ing served a plentiful supply of cold ham, po- 
tato salad with hardboiled eggs, and bread and 
butter. In the morning they may buy a big 
can of coffee with sugar, bread and butter, for 
fifty pfennigs. 

In the library, well stocked with books and 
magazines, young people were quietly reading 
or playing chess. Upstairs in the angles of the 
corridors were other cosy reading corners with 
books, flowering plants, chairs and tables. 

The washrooms have rows of basins, foot 
baths and showers, and plenty of hot water. 
The dormitories have gay checked covers on 
the bunks. Of course there are not many Youth 
Shelters so beautifully equipped as this it is 
one of the best in Germany but even here the 
guests pay but seven cents a night! 

Instead of soldiers drilling in the great court- 
yard, the space is used for athletics and folk 
dancing. After the pretty German fashion there 
was a big arbor in the court covered with vines 
and set with tables and benches where groups 


of friends were having supper in the open air. 
An ice cream wagon had come in from the 
street and was doing a thriving business. Two 
boys were sitting on the door sill of the store- 
room cleaning their shoes. I saw a big room 
filled with ranks of bicycles belonging to those 
who were doing their wandering a-wheel. 
There is a room for storing skis and drying wet 
clothes in winter, for this Jugendherberge is 
used all the year round. In winter, groups of 
school children come with teachers to stay for 
a week or two at a time, combining winter 
sports in the hills of the Rhineland with their 

The Jungendherberge is very near the rail- 
way station in the new town, and crossing the 
bridge, the wanderers come to old Cologne 
with its wonderful cathedral and interesting 
old streets. The Rhine boats are right at hand 
to take them sailing up the beautiful river. 

Several times I met parties of hikers on the 
Rhine boats. One day there was a crowd of 
small boys with a leader, hanging over the rail 
and cheering lustily for the ruined castles high 
on crags and the famous Lorelei Rock. An- 


other day I talked with a group of girls from 
an English school who were tramping through 
Germany with two teachers. They had food 
and necessaries for the night in their knapsacks 
and each one carried a blanket. They told me 
that they were spending the nights in Jungend- 

They fished out front the knapsacks bread, 
butter, and jam, and spread them out on the 
tables with which the decks of Rhine boats are 
thoughtfully provided. Of course they had a 
spirit lamp to boil water for tea and so they had 
a fine picnic lunch while watching the inter- 
esting course of the river. The boats make so 
many stops at pretty villages or towns that hik- 
ing parties may easily combine a sail of a few 
hours with a long tramp through vineyards and 
hills, past castles and old monasteries, and then 
catch anodier boat to continue the journey on 
the river. 

Wandering is not only a vacation pastime 
but on every week-end or holiday the children 
pour out into the country. In any big railway 
station on Saturdays and Sundays you will see 
crowds of them "beating it 5 ' for wander-trips. 


I have seen small parties of friends laughing 
and kidding each other as they scrambled on 
board the train, and big parties,, sometimes 
boys and girls together,, sometimes separately, 
always carrying the banner of their school or 
club. Everyone has a rucl{sac\ and walking 
stick and there are many guitars or violins 
slung over the shoulders. Weather doesn't 
daunt them. One rainy Saturday I saw a party 
of boys with cooking pots and stuffed rucl^ 
sacJ(s on their backs, each with a big round 
loaf of bread under an arm. With raincoats and 
sweaters, always bareheaded, these youngsters 
will have their trips regardless of rain, 

At every country station parties leave the 
train and strike off across the fields, up the 
mountainsides, through forest trails, along 
country roads which pass through peasant vil- 
lages. There are swims to be had in every lake 
and stream and sunbaths in the open fields, 
Forest and mountain are their kingdom. They 
sing as they tramp, or while they picnic under 
trees or gather around a camp fire. Camping 
out in tents has so far had little appeal for 
German young people, although the idea, in- 


troduced by the Boy Scouts, , is gaining popu- 
larity. Perhaps It Is partly because it hampers 
their freedom in walking to carry so much 
equipment, and ties them too much to one dis- 
trict. Then, too, their particular way of tramp- 
Ing has become a tradition since the days be- 
fore the World War when young people began 
wandering through the land sleeping in farm- 
houses or barns. 

I want to tell you the story which I heard 
from an American friend who went hiking 
with some German boys and girls in the Black 
Forest. They were poor young people, so much 
so that if they could get a kind farmer to let 
them sleep on the hay in his barn, they would 
do that rather than stay at a Jugendherberge. 
One early evening, looking for a place to stay, 
they crossed a field path and came to the most 
perfect Black Forest farmhouse. With its huge 
thatched roof coming down to the hill slope 
against which the house was built, its rows of 
little windows, and wooden balcony, It looked 
as though it belonged in a fairy tale. My friend 
was sure it was a storybook house when she 
saw the wizened old woman who stood In the 


dooryard knitting, with the ball of wool tied 
up in her apron. Her wrinkled face peered out 
from under a scarlet kerchief and she wore a 
black velvet bodice with white puffed sleeves,, 
and a full red skirt. Just then a tiny copy of 
the old woman came around the corner of the 
house a small girl with flaxen pigtails, dressed 
exactly like her grandmother. 

The young wanderers asked the old woman 
for a night's shelter and were told to ask the 
master, so they hunted out the farmer and got 
his permission to sleep in his barn. Then they 
were invited into the family living room. They 
mounted the steps of the balcony and entered 
the second story of the house. What a lovely 
old room they found! It was all paneled in 
soft brown wood with rows of small-paned 
windows on two sides of the room, windows 
decorated with stiff white curtains and scarlet 
geraniums. A long bench was built under all 
the windows and in the angle at the corner of 
the room was set a great big family table, so 
old that there were hollows in it from many 
scmbbings. The family sat on the benches and 
on stools drawn up to the table. Besides the 


grandmother there was the son and his hand- 
some wife and several children. The family 
offered their guests bowls full of the gorgeous 
great cherries which they were sorting in bas- 
kets, and when the cows were milked mugs of 
fresh warm milk were brought to them. 

Presently the young mother brought in a 
wooden tub full of warm water and capturing 
the children one by one she bathed them, put 
them into their nighties and tucked them away 
on the bench behind the great porcelain stove. 
There they sat peering out like a lot of elves at 
the exciting guests. The young visitors talked 
for a while with their hosts, and the peasants 
were tremendously interested in my friend 
they had never seen anyone from America! 
They had heard of Germans who went to live 
in that far-away country, but that a native of 
America should be sitting in their house in the 
Black Forest seemed like a miracle to them. 

One of the boys who had a guitar struck up 
a tune and the whole party began to sing all 
sorts of lovely old songs, many of them fa- 
miliar to the peasants. When they sang the 
beautiful old chant "Maria hilf," telling how 


the Madonna helps people In their work and 
comforts them In sorrow, the old grandmother 
wiped her eyes on her apron. The songs were 
the entertainment which the young people of- 
fered in return for their night's shelter. They 
slept on the hay under the great hooded roof 
and were off at dawn, marching down the val- 
ley to their next destination. 

The wander-trips mean something even 
more than the joy of the open road to young 
Germans, for as they explore they are learning 
to know the Fatherland, so dear to Germans. 
They visit old castles and medieval towns 3 en- 
chanting and full of color. They come to un- 
derstand the art of the past when they see the 
beautiful old fountains and statues in these 
towns. When I was visiting that splendid castle, 
the Wartburg, I saw a crowd of boys and girls 
enjoying its romantic towers and rooms, and 
then settling down with sketch books and ko- 
daks to make records of it to take away. At 
Heidelberg, too, a group of small boys with 
their teacher were learning the history of one 
of their most famous castles, and combining 


it with a fine Saturday afternoon outing, end- 
Ing with ice cream and cake in the cafe garden. 

City children have a chance to explore pretty 
quaint old villages and to make friends with 
peasant people on the farms, for in Germany 
there Is a much greater difference between 
country and city folk than in our land. 

You may wonder how the Youth Shelters 
are supported,, because obviously seven cents a 
night from the guests would not go very far 
towards paying expenses. There is a great asso- 
ciation called Verband fur Deutsche Jugend- 
hcrbcrgen through which the shelters have 
been established. Sometimes in towns you will 
see their triangular sign with the letters D J.H. 
directing you to the Youth Shelter. The asso- 
ciation is supported by the government,, schools, 
youth groups, and private subscriptions. With 
a membership card costing three marks young 
Germans may stay at any of the houses for 
thirty pfennigs if they are under twenty; for a 
slightly higher sum if they -are older. As I have 
said, they are eager for foreign membership. 
Young people of other lands may buy a mem- 
bership card for fifty pfennigs, or twelve cents 


and older ones for five marks,, $1.25. At all 
Jugendherbergen the first chance for a night's 
shelter is given to those tinder twenty, except 
where a leader comes with a group of younger 

There are no religious or political parties in 
the Jugendherbergen. Young people of every 
shade of opinion swap ideas and become 
friends. In fact,, one of the best things about 
their wandering and Youth Shelters is the op- 
portunity it gives for children from all parts of 
Germany to meet and get acquainted with one 
another. The Jugendherbergen have no rules 
except that good behavior and helpfulness are 
expected and no alcohol or tobacco are allowed. 
Now I will tell you how all this came about, 
and how this splendid scheme was developed 
by youth for its own pleasure and use. 


ABOUT thirty years ago a very important 
-**> thing happened in conservative, disci- 
plined Germany. Youth revolted against the 
materialistic world created by their elders. 
They said, "We will make our own lives, we 
will develop our own ideas. We refuse to be 
ruled by the old." Of course it is nothing new 
for young people to rebel against the com- 
mands of the older generation, but perhaps 
never before had the youth of a whole country 


broken away from the guidance of the grown- 
up world with such a united spirit 

There was a reason for this romantic re- 
bellion. A great change in German life had 
come about at the beginning of the twentieth 
century. Early in the nineteenth century Ger- 
many was a country of small separate states, 
The people were poor and three-quarters of 
the people of the entire country worked on the 
land. City life and factories were unimportant 
Then under the direction of the strong leader, 
Bismarck, the country became a united Em- 
pire, and began to move forward under the 
impetus of modern industrialism. Science and 
industry developed tremendously and wealth 
and power came suddenly to this formerly sim- 
ple country. The German people began to take 
great pride in their financial success and 
achievements, and their ambitions became very 
materialistic. Cities grew big, noisy and driv- 
ing, and factory work made life unhappy for 
many young people. Of course, to a greater or 
lesser extent this was happening all over the 

But in Germany the boys and girls, idealistic 


and romantic, as German youth have always 
been, rebelled against this kind of a world. 
This is particularly surprising, because under 
the old regime in Germany children were 
strictly disciplined and were supposed to be 
meekly obedient to the orders of parents and 
teachers. The school system was so rigid and 
severe that there was no room for young ideas 
to grow. The average teachers gave them plenty 
of facts, but no opportunity to develop their 
minds freely. There was one high-school 
teacher, however, in Steglitz, a suburb of Ber- 
lin, who sensed the children's need to hold on 
to simplicity and beauty. In 1896 Karl Fischer, 
with his restless eager scholars, organized the 
first youth groups. They spent their free time 
wandering into the country, sleeping in f armers' 
barns or under haycocks, making friends 
with the peasants and learning from them the 
aid folk songs and dances which had been al- 
most forgotten. It was not only the joy of out- 
of-doors, of sun and wind and beautiful coun- 
try, which they were seeking. They had a great 
longing to get away from this harsh civili- 


At about the same time another young 
teacher, Richard Schirrmann of Gellsenkirchen, 
in Westphalia, was leading his pupils about the 
country on wandering trips. The idea sprang 
up spontaneously in various sections and soon 
the different groups began to hear of one an- 
other. A great meeting was organized on a 
mountain top, and there the boys and girls 
discovered how many comrades they had and 
how great was the spirit of youth which held 
them together. 

From that time the movement grew like 
wildfire. It was a great enthusiasm, almost a 
religion. The young people called themselves 
Wandcrvogel, "birds of passage 5 * and that 
meant to them not only their free wandering, 
but a complete new life. They went about the 
country barelegged and hatless, sometimes 
barefooted. They adopted a costume which 
represented their repudiation of confining city 
life. The velveteen suits and peasant dresses 
which, as I have said, many young wanderers 
still wear, are of the same design as those of 
the first Wandervogd who wanted to be dif- 
ferent from their world even in clothes. 


They revolted also against the strict conven- 
tional rules for the relations between boys and 
girls. Now on the road they were free com- 
panions. They tramped and swam together, 
slept side by side in all sorts of shelters or in 
the open fields. They developed a fine com- 
radeship which young Germans had never 
known before. They held high-hearted dis- 
cussion around their camp fires about the 
meaning of life, what they would do with it, 
and how they could make it beautiful They 
read fine books, and always they danced and 
sang as they learned the old folk music from 
the peasants. 

So many young people were wandering 
about the country that their shelter for the 
night became a problem. Richard Schirrmann, 
who was deeply interested in the youth groups, 
was the first to suggest the use of rooms in 
schoolhouses during vacation. He proposed his 
idea to several town councils and it was taken 
up with enthusiasm, so that even before, the 
War many towns and villages had established 
quarters in the schoolhouses under the care of 


teachers. That was the beginning of the present 
great system of Jugendhcrbergen. 

The Youth Movement in those early years 
was extremely romantic, mystical, and indi- 
vidualistic. The young people were determined 
to create their own life without accepting help 
or guidance from the older generation. The 
idea spread to other countries of Europe and 
youth took to the road, wandering, exploring, 
making friends with the world. 

Then came the war. To these idealistic 
young men it seemed the answer to their ques- 
tion, what are we in the world for? They 
would save the Fatherland, so, like the heroic 
youth of other countries they went out to suffer 
and die. Twelve thousand Wandervogel went 
to the war and only four thousand returned. 
Those who came back had to deal with a 
changed world. Suffering and death had 
drawn the people together, and the young men 
had learned in the trenches to work with older 
men for their common cause. They realized 
that they could no longer stand alone, each 
individual for himself, but that it was the 
group, the common welfare, that counted. 


They had learned also that if they banded to- 
gether to put their Ideals Into practice they 
could become a great influence In the country. 
So they threw themselves Into the work of re- 
building Germany, crushed and broken by 

Many young men became teachers. Because 
of their belief in freedom of education, and in 
training young minds and young bodies to 
work together they made tremendous changes 
in the old rigid school system against which 
they themselves had once revolted. The Youth 
Movement of the war generation affected Ger- 
man life In every field. As was to be expected 
much of their good work was the revival of 
fine things in the German spirit which were 
getting lost in materialistic pride and money 
power. They collected and preserved the beau- 
tiful old folk music and dances which were 
being forgotten, so that now they are a part of 
every child's life. Germans have always been 
walkers and nature lovers, but in the growth of 
city life they were losing touch with outdoor 
beauty. The Wandervogel revived a tradition 
of forest-wandering ages old, and re-discovered 


the beautiful songs or Licdcr which, grew out 
of it. Nowadays the idea of long wander-trips, 
both for the pleasure of outdoors and for seek- 
ing knowledge of beauty and history,, has taken 
possession of everyone. Probably the finest 
things which have come from the Youth Move- 
ment are the young people's wanderings and 
the system of Jugendherbergen to shelter them 
on their trips. 

The boys and girls of the present generation 
are not nearly so romantic as those early wan- 
derers and they are deserting the picturesque 
costumes. One day in a Black Forest village 
I saw a Wandervogel of the original type 
swinging down the street. Although eccentric- 
ity of costume attracts no attention in Ger- 
many, people turned to look after him with 
amusement, and I realized from that how 
much the old romanticism is going out of 
favor. He wore a Tyrolese hat with a jaunty 
chamois brush at the back, leather shorts with 
tassels at the sides, a bright blue jacket, and the 
guitar across his shoulders was decorated with 
a gay bunch of fluttering ribbons. 

The individualistic young students and 


workers who started the revolt of youth have 
long since grown up, become practical, and 
gone into German life in one field or another, 
and the movement has somewhat changed its 

character. In the first place, what is the Youth 
Movement? It is nothing so definite as an or- 
ganization. It is a spirit, an attitude of mind, 
which transcends the various youth groups and 
unites them in a common ideal 
But it is doubtless true that with time some 


of the original free, idealistic spirit has been 
lost. The political and religious parties have 
captured many of the young people, organiz- 
ing them in groups affiliated with each party 
and its creed. Some people say that die Youth 
Movement has become militaristic, but that is 
no more true than to say that it has become 
Communistic or religious or democratic. There 
are Communistic groups, also Defence groups 
affiliated with the party which wants to bring 
back the old disciplined military Germany. 
Besides these two extremes there are Social 
Democratic, Nationalist, Catholic and Protest- 
ant groups, in fact every shade of political and 
social opinion is represented by an organization 
of young people. But there are still groups 
banded together for wandering and the culti- 
vation of beauty. 

When you talk to people in Germany about 
the Youth Movement, you will be given many 
different opinions. Some say that it Is a men- 
ace, revolutionary and destructive, that it leads 
young people into immorality; others that it 
has become too organized and conservative to 


be any use, that Its spirit Is dead, that it is a 
"museum piece. 55 

At any rate, the young people of Germany 
have a real desire to take part in the life of 
their country which we, in our big, mixed-up. 

J **""* > *'"*.g ; _,w, *" "*'"&fcwi WM w '". 

^sj^EangJ^yft <3Lfe aye not^They have a very 
different problem from ours. They live in a 
country where the old system of life has been 
destroyed by war and revolution. They are 
very much needed and can be a great power In 
building up a new Germany, It seems to me 
a pity that the fresh oudook of youth, its ideal- 
ism and ability to believe in a new world, 
should be attached to the old parties. In Berlin 
I knew a young man of twenty-four who had 
grown up in the Youth Movement and be- 
lieved in it enthusiastically. He hoped that the 
young men would make a party of their own, 
a Youth Bloc he called it, so that their point of 
view would have a real expression in the 

Those early Wandervogd scorned the civili- 
zation of the machine age. The most extreme 
among them even objected to typewriters and 
printed books. They would listen to no music 


In your wanderings think of the 
burden o the times and do not be con- 
spicuous in conduct or dress. Avoid 
alcohol and tobacco. Renounce joy- 
fully all superfluous amusement. Sing 
decent songs. But do not let your 
gayety and song disturb others. Your 
behaviour will win you love and re- 
spect. Spare meadows and fields,, 
forest and shrubs, for the land and all 
it bears is sacred. Become crusaders 
for the German Youth Shelter move- 
ment. Bring the German youth wan- 
dering to flower and fruit. 



(frnf! for 3eft mifr mdfrd gfles 




! Cin^ 

Htrtcrtott after 



fi>nnie. duer ffcf raqen f oft (gtsd> iebe 

Cd?onf Biefen 

und Sfe^en^Kfi^ u.Cfrau*! 2)*ttn Oae: 

an(> iff ^d(ia/ msfr otfcg, tpqg 




but classical or folk music, and would certainly 
have repudiated jazz. They revived handiwork 
and crafts of all sorts. When they went on 
wander-trips they cooked over camp fires or 
on primitive stoves in the crude quarters which 
die first youth shelters offered them. Their 
beds were often sacks stuffed with straw laid 
on the floor,, if they were not the hay of a 
farmer's barn. Naturally all that has changed 
very much. The boys and girls of today would 
be all wrong if they tried to live in such an 
idealistic separateness from their age. So we 
find the Jugcndherbergen grown into comfort- 
able houses with good beds, sometimes hot 
water supply, and sometimes electrically 
equipped kitchens. Popular hits of the musical 
shows are heard on the road as well as folk 
songs. But the point is that the boys and girls 
of the present time have kept a real delight in 
the peasant handicrafts, dances and songs re- 
vived and bequeathed to them by the first 
Wandervogel, and so they have the old ro- 
mance and beauty together with their interest 
in the life of a modem world. 


" OU can always tell a German school boy 
by his cap. It is made of velvet in every 
color of the rainbow and he wears it wherever 
he goes. Each class has its special hue. When 
a group of boys comes through the streets of 
a town, their headgear makes bright spots of 
color in the scene. They don't look very much 
like our schoolboys, They never wear knicker- 
bockers, but short tight trousers, turned down 
shirt-collars over snug-fitting jackets, and 



socks which leave their knees bare. The small 
boys carry books and lunch in box-like knap- 
sacks covered with hide which they sling across 
their backs, but the big boys carry everything 
in bulging briefcases. 

In Bavarian towns you will find children 
still going to school in July, for their summer 
vacation is from July 15 to September i. In 
Berlin, on the other hand, they are out of 
school early in June and back again on the first 
of August. Although the average summer va- 
cation in Germany is only five or six weeks, 
they make up for that by having a breathing 
sjDace of about two weeks in the autumn, when 
they can go out on wander-trips. There are, of 
course, Christmas and Easter vacations and one 
or two days at Whitsuntide. 

There has been a great change in German 
education under the Republic. Before the war 
Germany was very proud of its school system 
which had a high reputation for scholarship. 
It was, however, a rigid severe regime which 
emphasized intellectual accomplishment at the 
expense of everything else, as I have suggested 
in telling the story of the Youth Movement It 


was almost Impossible for a boy of the lower 
classes to bridge the gap between the people's 
school, the Volfachule, and the higher schools 
and universities which were exclusively for the 
upper classes. 

The Revolution and the Republic put an end 
to that, for the Socialists and the Youth Move- 
ment demanded equal educational opportuni- 
ties for all. Private schools were almost entirely 
abolished only a few which offered special 
advantages in education or training in the arts 
were allowed to continue. 

In Germany today every child, no matter of 
what class, must go for the first four years to 
a common school called the Ground School, 
and that is indeed a change from the pre-war 
country where the distinctions between the no- 
bility, the professional, business, and working 
classes were so sharply drawn. After that, the 
girls usually go to a school where they are 
given training in the domestic arts as well as 
general education, so that they will be fitted 
both to hold jobs and be efficient wives and 
mothers. In the boys' school they have business 
training and languages, and classes in carpen- 


try, metallurgy, chemistry and dyes 5 for the 
manufacture o chemical dyes is one of Ger- 
many's greatest industries. In German schools, 
English is the first foreign language taught and 
French the second." I visited an English class 
in a Munich school and decided that these 
young people were getting a better training in 
clear precise English speech than we have our- 
selves in ordinary schools. When small chil- 
dren are getting acquainted with their own 
language they have to go through the painful 
process of learning to read and print the diffi- 
cult old German letters which the country is 
not yet ready to discard. 

It would seem strange to us to see a crucifix 
hanging on a wall of a public schoolroom,, but 
in Germany the lower schools are either Prot- 
estant or Catholic, and it is only in the higher 
ones that they know the religious neutrality of 
our schools. Religion is one of the chief subjects 
of instruction. 

Formerly there was no comradeship between 
teachers and scholars- The Herr Professor was 
a superior being who must be deeply respected 
and obeyed. Even now a German class jumps 


to Its feet like a body of soldiers every time a 
teacher enters or leaves the classroom. But 
those young men of the Youth Movement who 
became teachers after the war, created a spirit 
of sympathy and understanding between them- 
selves and their pupils so that the boys and 
girls felt that they had in their teacher a com- 
panion rather than a taskmaster. The ideal of 
education to which these young men gave such 
impetus that of encouraging the child's mind 
to grow and unfold freely,, rather than cram- 
ming his head with facts has grown rapidly 
in the schools of the Republic. This is particu- 
larly true in the progressive public schools of 
Hamburg and Berlin which lead in experi- 
mental education. 

The great ideal of German education today 
is to develop mind and body together without 
putting too much emphasis on either scholar- 
ship or athletics. Sports are coming into their 
own in German schools and nowadays the cur- 
riculum includes many hours of gymnastic 
work. Every child learns to swim before leav- 
ing school. 

The teachers are also training the children in 


cooperation and in working for the common 
good rather than for themselves. In a country 
which is faced with the necessity of making it- 
self over, this is a lesson which it is particularly 
necessary to learn. German educators now' be- 
lieve that it is only by bringing up the boys 
and girls of this generation in the "culture of 
work/' so that they will be valuable citizens of 
the state, that new Germany can be established 
on a firm foundation. 

In connection with the development of a 
sense of responsibility toward the homeland, 
the teachers talk to them of friendship and 
cooperation between nations, so that they will 
not only love their own land, but will look 
forward to international unity. Of course all 
these fine ideals in new German education 
have to contend with the old prejudices and 
conservative point of view. Not all teachers or 
schools are yet ready to accept the changes. In 
the higher schools and universities particularly, 
there is a good deal of the old proud German 
spirit and desire for national power. 

The classroom in new Germany is like the 
hub of a wheel from which radiate varied out- 


side activities. Wander-trips, for instance, are a 
part of the school regime. A class of boys or 
girls will go out with a teacher on an expedition 
of days, a week, or longer, to some interesting 

part of the country. They will visit ancient 
towns, castles, or cathedrals in connection with 
their study of history, or of the art and litera- 
ture of the past. 

Germans revere and remember their great 
men, and so these school children make pil- 


grimages to the towns where they lived and 
worked; to Bonn, to see Beethoven's charming 
little house and learn of his life as the teacher 
explains the letters and mementos gathered in 
the house; to Weimar where their literary he- 
roes Goethe and Schiller lived; to Wittenberg, 
Eisenach and the Wartburg, following the dra- 
matic story of Martin Luther; or a musical 
pilgrimage to Bayreuth, where they may re- 
member Richard Wagner and hear one of the 
operas in the famous Festspielhaus. 

Other excursions are made to the industrial 
regions such as Essen or the Ruhr to study fac- 
tories and mining. School children from Berlin 
make expeditions to the great port of Ham- 
burg, traveling happily by boat most of the 
way on canals and rivers. There they study 
commerce and shipping, and visit interesting 
places in the old town. 

The State Railways allow these wandering 
school children special rates in the third-class, 
and whenever it is convenient they hike 
through specially beautiful regions. Their 
nights are spent in Jugendherbergen. 

Schools of Berlin and other big cities have 


country homes nearby where teachers go to 
live with groups of girls or boys for two weeks 
at a time during the school year. They usually 
take some special subjects for study and dis- 
cussion, while combined with their school 
work these city children have a chance at coun- 
try life. The household tasks are done by the 
children themselves,, and in this experience of 
communal living the girls and boys learn to be 
self-reliant and to cooperate with others for 
their mutual benefit. 

At fourteen German boys and girls finish 
die regulation schooling which everyone has 
and many of them, unfortunately, must then 
leave school and go to work. The boys are 
apprenticed to a trade for three years after 
which they can get an independent job. Many 
girls go to work as salesgirls in small shops at 
a tiny wage until they are competent to get 
positions in good shops. If a boy's father can 
afford to support him for a few years longer, 
he may have a chance to choose a trade and 
get special training in a technical school. Very 
few German young people are able or willing 
to stay idly at home after they have left school 


The girls, if they do not have to worjk right . 
away, go to some continuation school for spe- 
cial training in a field which interests them- 
perhaps household arts or business; or they 
may wish to become doctors or teachers, in 
which case they go to a university for their 
training. Doubtless the desire to become good 
Hausfrauen and mothers is still strong in Ger- 
man girls, but they now have the opportunity 
to pursue careers other than the old one which 
was the ideal of their grandmothers Kinder, 
Kochen, Kirche (children, cookery, church). 

For those who are able to continue their edu- 
cation there are various types of higher schools 
which do not, however, correspond to our high 
schools. If a German boy prepares for the uni- 
versity his whole course takes thirteen years, 
nine of them in the "higher schools" after the 
four of elementary. But when he is ready to 
enter a German university he could begin in 
the junior year of an American college. 

The "higher schools" are specialized, and 
the young people preparing for university 
choose the one which will give them training 
in their particular field of interest. The Gym- 


naslum (and this word when applied to a 
school in Germany means a place where schol- 
arship and not physical training is acquired) 
centers its work around classical studies such 
as Greek and Latin. The Real-Gymnasium 
specializes in modern languages,, the Qbened- 
schule in mathematics and the natural sciences, 
and the Deutsche Oberschule in everything 
concerning German history and culture. I a 
boy wants special training in some technical, 
commercial, or agricultural field he goes to still 
another kind of continuation school devoted to 
that profession. The highest technical training 
is not obtained in the universities, but in tech- 
nische Hochschulen which have the rank of 

While I was in Berlin I knew a young man, 
Klaus Mehnert, who had spent a year as ex- 
change student at the University of Berkeley, 
California, and who afterwards wrote a book 
for German students describing the life of an 
American university. My talks with him added 
to what I had already observed of the great 
differences between college life in Germany 
and in our country. He was impressed first of 


all by the amount of space around our colleges 
the huge campuses with many buildings con- 
centrated about them. It is no wonder that 
he was delighted with this, for German uni- 
versities are mostly in the midst of towns, and 
have nothing like the small separate college 
world created when the whole plant is grouped 

In Munich and Berlin the university build- 
ings are splendid dignified structures with 
green lawns and huge trees before them, but 
they are occupied only by the classrooms, lec- 
ture halls, offices, libraries, etc. The students 
find living quarters all around the town. In 
Heidelberg it is difficult to find the ancient 
buildings of this famous university, so modestly 
are they hidden in the midst of streets and 
houses. The old buildings and one dormitory 
are grouped around a square but the various 
colleges of the university are scattered through 
the town. 

The German student in America was 
pleased and excited by the possibilities open to 
our boys and girls to earn their way through 
college. It is much more difficult in Germany. 

Young wanderers cook for themselves in most Youth 
Shelters. In Cologne, however, food is prepared for the 
guests in an electrically equipped kitchen. 


There are not so many available jobs which can 
be combined with study and classes, and since 
there is no big university group the chances are 
lessened for a student to find work in the col- 
lege houses. And yet it is very necessary for 
students to have help. There may be equality 
of opportunity in Germany now, but poverty 
makes it difficult for many brilliant young men 
to have a university education. There are cheap 
lodging houses for students in the towns, how- 
ever; the college dining halls give meals at a 
low rate, and every effort is being made to help 
finance poor students. 

A big American university like Berkeley 
seemed a very luxurious place to a German 
student. He was astounded to find hundreds of 
the young men driving their own cars. When 
he discovered for what a small down payment 
a secondhand car could be obtained, and that 
he himself, with his small income, could man- 
age to have a secondhand Ford, he was thrilled. 
Such a thing could never have happened to 
him at home. 

German universities are coeducational, but 
owing to their different organization there is 


nothing like the social life of our colleges. 
Since there are no campuses with dormitories, 
the students are scattered and have very little 
opportunity to 'become well acquainted with 
one another. They meet in classes, and have, of 
course, their clubs and societies, but such things 
as sorority and fraternity dances, or meaning- 
less flirtations, were new experiences to my 
young German friend. 

Nor do they have anything like the concen- 
tration on big games and college teams, and the 
hero worship for athletic leaders which is true 
of our colleges. The strong college spirit which 
is both fine and foolish in our country is quite 
different from the more sober feeling which 
attaches a German student to his university. 
They are more serious than we are, anyway, 
and inclined to consider college a place to learn 
rather than to dance and play football In fact, 
the work in German universities corresponds 
somewhat to that of our graduate students. 
They have much more freedom in classes, and 
it is up to them whether they shall study and 
attend lectures or not. The result will show at 
the big examinations a few times during the 


year, but no one "keeps tabs" on them from 
day to day. 

Even at Heidelberg the duels, and the ro- 
mantic life in the corporations, the nearest ap- 
proach to our fraternities, are becoming things 
of the past. In the old days, students at "Alt 
Heidelberg 5 * were pictured in brown beer halls 
singing rollicking songs over rounds of beer, 
stopping just long enough to fight a duel or 
two from which they emerged with sword cuts 
on their faces. The corporations, or unions, 
were the strongholds of the old aristocratic and 
extravagant life at the university. It took 
money or family to enter them and the young 
men who belonged to them were assured of 
good social and official position when they 
graduated. The duels were competitions for 
prestige between the different corporations. 

It is amusing to go up to the top floor of one 
of the old buildings and see the small rooms 
which were called the Students' Prison. Here 
were shut up the riotous students who got into 
trouble with the police or annoyed the citizens 
too much. They were kept on bread and water 
for varying lengths of time according to their 


crimes. To amuse themselves they decorated 
the walls with caricatures of students and fair 
ladies, and humorous or sentimental rhymes. 
It was probably almost as much a matter for 
pride to have been shut up in the prison and 
to have added to the picture gallery on the 
walls as to have a sword cut on the face. This 
prison is one of Heidelberg's past romances, for 
it has not been used since 1914. 

Things have changed very much in Heidel- 
berg since the war. The aristocratic classes have 
lost their money, the university is poor, and life 
is more serious than formerly. 

But still the boys swagger around the streets 
in their bright-colored velvet caps embroidered 
with gold, and still they have their favorite 
taverns where they gather to sing and drink 
beer. Their faces are often marred by the scars 
of rapier cuts, for although dueling is now 
against the law in Heidelberg, there is a village 
a few miles away across the border of another 
state where the boys go for their contests. Duel- 
ing is a sport to them, as important as football 
to our boys. It is a fencing contest, and their 
bodies and eyes are protected so that only their 


faces receive the disfiguring wounds which 
they bear so proudly. 

Now that poverty and democracy have hit 
the upper classes the corporations have lost 
much of their power and popularity. The radi- 
cal students and young people of the Youth 
Movement who come to the university are 
opposed to them because they represent the old 
conservative ideas. They are serious students 
without much money, they form their own 
political and social clubs, and live at the uni- 
versity quite separate from the young men of 
the unions. 

The majority of boys and girls in Germany 
achieve their education through the system I 
have been describing. There are, however, 
other schools organized for some special pur- 
pose, particularly that of health. Ever since the 
war and the hard years following it, Germany 
has been faced with the difficult problem of 
restoring the strength of its children, for al- 
though one sees groups of sturdy boys and girls 
on the road everywhere, yet there are hundreds 
of poor and delicate city children who need 
special care. 


Berlin has developed a children's village 
called Jugendland in a country district not far 
from the town, a large establishment with 
many buildings. The youngsters have fresh air 
and plenty of space, big trees, and a nearby 
lake for bathing. The houses are made attrac- 
tive in the German fashion with climbing vines 
and flowers, and white curtains at the 

To this fresh and joyous place come the 
sickly, crippled, or undernourished children of 
the city, to live in comfortable quarters and eat 
good food, to enjoy the country while they 
have their lessons, and in the case of the crip- 
pled youngsters, to learn useful crafts. 

Healthy children have their chance at this 
place too, for the city has built fourteen houses 
in which school classes may stay for a week or 
more with their teachers, and there is a vaca- 
tion home for big girls who have no money 
to get away from the city in their free time. 

So the great city is holding out a helping 
hand to all of its children who need special 
care and giving them a time of free happy life 
in country surroundings. 


When I was in Cologne I visited two beau- 
tiful outdoor schools. One of them was a forest 
school or Wcddschule, where delicate children 
from the city 'were brought to spend four or 
five weeks at a time, living out-of-doors as 
much as possible. It was a charming place with 
wide tracts of woodland and big green mead- 
ows where boys were playing ball and running 
races and a group of small girls was busy with 
singing and dancing games. In the woods were 
many circular clearings, secluded happy places, 
in some of which small children were occupied 
with the delightful business of making mud- 
pies and building little houses of stones. In 
other clearings girls were playing house with 
their dolls, and still others had low circular 
benches around them and were used for open- 
air classrooms. The children took their rest and 
sunbaths lying on canvas cots in the sunny 
open spaces. 

The boys and girls who were running 
around dressed in bathing suits or short one- 
piece garments looked tanned and happy, al- 
though some of them were rather thin and 


There were pleasant little cottages with 
porches for the children's sleeping quarters, 
and they had cheerful play-rooms, dining-room 
and kitchen. In the room designed for their 
festivities the walls were decorated with the 
drawings and paintings the children had done 
on rainy days, and there was a delightful little 
marionette theater with puppets which the 
children could work themselves. The tiny the- 
ater had amusing back drops painted with 
scenes on the Rhine a white steamer going 
along between the vineyard-covered hills, and 
a castle on a crag. Other back drops repre- 
sented the crooked streets of old Cologne. The 
puppets were quaint peasant figures. The chil- 
dren invented plays for their little actors and 
had a great deal of fun with the theater. 

As I went about Germany I found a wonder- 
ful thing happening in this formerly militaris- 
tic land. Everywhere they are converting the 
barracks and parade grounds of the Kaiser's 
army into sport fields, gardens, and schools for 
the welfare of the people. And so, as I saw it 
written over the portal of the Garden School at 


Cologne, "New life blossoms on the rains of 
the old. 55 

This Gartenarbeitschule has been established 
in a soldiers 5 barracks outside the city, sur- 
rounded with groves of beautiful trees and 
with wide fields which were formerly the exer- 
cise grounds for the troops. Those fields are 
now laid out in rows and rows of gay little 
gardens, cultivated by the children. There are 
orchards of young fruit trees and patches of 
berries. Every day during the school year ex- 
cept during cold winter weather children come 
here from the city schools of Cologne, riding 
out early in the morning on special street cars, 
as many as four or five hundred a day. They 
have a breakfast of rolls and milk, and then 
the big children go to work in the gardens 
while the little ones have nature lessons out-of- 
doors and begin to learn the processes of plant- 
ing and growing things. These boys and girls 
are doing more than planting seeds, weeding 
and watering. While they work they are being 
taught about soils and fertilizers, how different 
plants and fruit trees grow and how they are 
best cared for. They study the weather and 


learn the effects of frost, sun, and rain. On 
bad days they have classes indoors in botany 
and agricultural subjects. 

The director took me up on a grassy knoll 
shaded by big trees with benches set under- 
neath, and told me that here the teachers 
brought groups of children to tell them about 
their homeland. We could look out over the 
wide flat country in every direction, seeing the 
spires of Cologne cathedral in the distance. So, 
the director said, the children could look at the 
ancient city, more than a thousand years old, 
and hear the story of how it had been a Roman 
city for five hundred years, how it had been 
rich and powerful in the Middle Ages, and 
how it had come to be the big modern city in 
which they lived. Then they could look out 
over the fields to the Rhine and learn how 
boats transported goods and produce from 
their country to Belgium, Holland, and 
France, by means of the river. They could see 
the railroad with trains flying along and learn 
about land transportation. In another direction 
they could see the airport, most modern of all. 


with planes swooping down from the sky to 
the landing field. 

The low brick buildings of the barracks have 
been converted into pleasant classrooms, dining 
rooms and kitchen. The children are given a 
good hot lunch every day, and at night they 
go back again, fresh and happy, to the streets 
of Cologne. 

The boarding school idea is not popular with 
parents and teachers in Germany, but there is 
one unique organization, rather like our ex- 
perimental progressive schools, for children 
whose parents have the desire and the means 
to give them a very special training. 

The children who go to this Odenwald 
School in the beautiful forest district near 
Heidelberg have a delightful life. They live in 
attractive simple houses clustered on a hill on 
the edge of the Odenwald forest, and their 
nearest neighbors are the people of a quiet 
peasant village. A group of boys and girls lives 
like a family in each house, under the care of 
a teacher who is their housemother. The chil- 
dren are of all ages, from small things of nurs- 
ery age to husky boys and girls of sixteen or so. 


They have a life of simplicity and coopera- 
tion. There are vegetable and flower gardens 
where those who are interested in growing 
things each have their own plot to cultivate 
from the time the seeds are planted. The big 
boys and girls have made their own sport 
ground and tennis courts. They have a shop 
where they work at carpentry and metal work, 
and there are printing presses and kilns for 
firing pottery and studios for art work. They 
produce very fine books,, doing the printing 
and binding, and illustrating them with 

Early in the morning everyone has half an 
hour of outdoor activity. Some of them take 
sunbaths or do gymnastics, while others take 
a run through the forest dressed, even in win- 
ter, just in running trunks. Their days are full 
of stimulating occupations rhythmic dancing, 
work in the shops and studios, singing and in- 
strumental music as well as the ordinary 

They have games in the forest and go on 
interesting hikes at all seasons of the year. In 


winter groups go off with a leader on ski-trips 
of several days. They stay in forest shacks, or 
sometimes village inns,, and during the day 
they ski over the hills until they get so hot that 
they strip to undershirts and shorts and acquire 
a winter sun-tan. Often wander-groups go 
with a teacher to foreign lands, visiting inter- 
esting places in France, or staying as guests at 
an English school Young Americans and chil- 
dren of other nationalities come to enjoy the 
unique life at the Odenwald School 

Herr Paulus Geheeb, the founder of the 
school, is a striking figure with a big beard, 
and he is a remarkable personality. His great 
ideal is to give the children a life of beauty in 
the world of nature, with work in the earth, 
creative work in arts and crafts, and apprecia- 
tion of the old German music, literature and 
painting- So the children have developed their 
own orchestra, and sing and play a great deal 
They enjoy the old-time folk dances and re- 
vive charming festivals of the past. Jazz, radio, 
and the movies are unknown at Odenwald. 
The children are very much sheltered from the 


hard outside world, but Herr GeEeeb believes 
that their background of beautiful living will 
help them to contend with the world after 
they have finished school 


\N AN island in the river which flows 
through Munich stands the most won- 
derful museum in the world, the Deutsches 
Museum. Within its walls one may study all 
the elements of the earth and follow the story 
of how man has learned to use those elements; 
how he has invented and developed things nec- 
essary to his comfort and happiness in this 
world such as transportation, heat, lighting, 
housing, clothing, printing, and countless other 



achievements. In fascinating models, In the re- 
production of such things as ships, mines, and 
shops, in machines which actually work, the 
whole story may be followed from room to 

The museum is the result of the devotion of 
all classes of people scientists, scholars, artis- 
ans, engineers, business corporations, have 
given freely of money and time. The work of 
making the collections began in 1903 and the 
present great building was completed and oc- 
cupied in 1925. 

It is a treasure house for students young and 
old, but particularly valuable for boys and girls 
in their 'teens with keen interest in scientific 
and mechanical subjects, and the history of 
how things are made. The museum Is used 
continually by Munich schools as a part of the 
school course and one will always see groups 
of children studying the models in the different 
rooms. There is a reading room well supplied 
with books and magazines on science and tech- 
nology which is always occupied by absorbed 
readers. People come from all over Germany to 

Young craftsmen of Mitten wald in Bavaria 
making violins. 

Students of the Bode School of Gymnastics 
beat a stirring rhythm on tambourines. A swim- 
ming contest starts at the Berlin Stadium. 


study these collections, but how fortunate are 
Munich children to have it right at hand ! 

Let us pretend that I am one o the efficient 
guides who show visitors through the countless 
rooms of the huge museum, explaining the ex- 
hibits to them. I shall not try to take you on the 
nine-mile walk which is necessary to see the 
whole museum, but will tell you about the 
most interesting things. 

We may begin by studying the construction 
of the earth in the geology room, observing by 
charts and models what the interior of the 
earth is like, how mountains originated, and 
the influence of water, wind, and ice. The his- 
tory of earthquakes is shown by pictures, mod- 
els, and instruments. 

In this next room we may learn to under- 
stand the beginnings of life on earth by looking 
at the collections of fossils from each epoch, 
the skeletons of the great prehistoric beasts, 
and the skulls of the first men. 

Now let us go to the basement of the mu- 
seum where we may walk into full-size repro- 
ductions of mines. Let us go through the 
galleries of a coal mine and see figures of men 


working at the veins of coal by primitive meth- 
ods and modern scientific ones as well; see the 
cars of rough coal on the tracks ready to be run 
to the elevators and transported to the surface. 
The ore mines also show all the different proc- 
esses old and new by which metal ores are ex- 
tracted from the earth, and the potash and salt 
mines exhibit other interesting methods. We 
may study the tools and apparatus of mining 
from early times to the present day, and the 
development of safety appliances. 

In other rooms we see what happens to the 
metals after they are taken from the earth. 
There are models showing how lead, zinc, cop- 
per, mercury, are produced, and the furnaces 
in which iron and steel are made. One sees all 
sorts of machines for cutting, sawing, filing 
and planing metal, and one machine turns out 
brass screw caps at the rate of one every few 
seconds, and the guide gives you one for a 

The complex mechanism of engines is one 
of the most fascinating things in the world 
today, so we must go through the hall devoted 
to power engines and observe how man has 


learned in the course of centuries to harness 
wind,, water, and steam for his purposes. In the 
beginning he only knew how to use the muscle 
power of other men or of animals, and so we 
are shown models of various treadmills worked 
by men, or by horses or dogs. The working 
models of various types of windmills show how 
man learned to make use of the wind. Here is 
an old Rumanian mill, one of the early water 
power plants. It works for us, and we may see 
how the water runs over a system of scoopy 
wooden spoons and thus turns the wheel. This 
same principle was applied to the making of 
modern turbines. A copy of Watt's steam en- 
gine of 1788 is here, and it, too, works. There 
are many varieties of wonderful complicated 
engines and turbines in these rooms and the 
guide will explain their workings and some- 
times set them going for us. 

We may go on through other rooms to look 
at all the different vehicles which man has in- 
vented to save himself the labor of going about 
on foot There are sledges, sedan chairs, rick- 
shaws, and many varieties of carriages and 
stage coaches. Then we come to mechanical 


vehicles and follow the evolution of the bicycle 
from the first funny examples up to motor- 
cycles. There are amusing specimens of the first 
horseless carriages, the first real motor car in- 
vented by Benz in 1886 a most absurd little 
machine and specimens of modern auto- 

Then we come to the history of railroading. 
The museum has a copy of the first locomotive, 
"Puffing Billy/ 5 which was used in a coal mine 
in England. There are fascinating models of 
all kinds of steam and electric locomotives, and 
passenger coaches from the funny early ones 
to the elaborate Pullman cars and "trains de 
luxe." Other models show underground and 
elevated railways, the interesting rack-and- 
pinion and funicular railroads which ascend 
mountains. In this section the best model is 
that of the remarkable railway which goes up 
the Jungfrau, tunneling through the rock of 
the Alps. 

We go on through rooms in which we learn 
about tunnels, bridge-building, the making of 
waterways and harbors, to the particularly in- 
teresting history of ship-building. 


Here are primitive native canoes and beauti- 
ful models of ships from the galleys of Greeks 
and Romans and the tall galleons of the Mid- 
dle Ages, through the many varieties of clipper 
ships, barks, and brigantines, to the steam 
ships of the present. In one case there is a fine 
model of the Vaterland, afterwards the Levia- 
than, loading and coaling in a harbor. Down- 
stairs in this department is the first submarine 
built by Krupp in 1906 with its main engine 
room, officers' quarters, conning tower, tor- 
pedo tubes, pumping station, open to the in- 
spection of inquiring boys, while beside it are 
two examples of torpedoes. 

We may go through a series of rooms dupli- 
cating quarters on board vessels of various peri- 
ods. For instance there is an old ship kitchen 
and alongside it for the sake of contrast the 
galley on an up-to-date boat. There is the sa- 
loon of a sailing ship of 1848 and a cabin in 
such a ship. Then we go on board a modern 
liner. The painted canvas beyond the deck 
gives a realistic impression of the sea. From the 
deck we enter sample cabins of the first and 
third class. We go on into lounge rooms, din- 


ing saloon and gymnasium characteristic of the 
modern ship. We may investigate the wireless 
room and the navigation and steering room 
with its wonderful intricate apparatus. 

Having studied transportation on the sea we 
go on to the conquest of the air. This is one of 
die most thrilling sections of the museum. 
Here is the whole story of flight, from the 
specimens of flying seeds, the prehistoric fly- 
ing animals, and the structure of birds 3 bones, 
bodies and wings, to all the experiments in 
flight which man has tried. There are models 
of all sorts of balloons, kites and parachutes, 
and one of the actual balloons in which some 
early flights were made. Models and sections of 
airplanes, gliders, and Zeppelins are shown, of 
different periods and designs. There is a model 
of the Zeppelin airship factory and of several 
flying fields. We may see most interesting maps 
of famous flights, such as the first Zeppelin 
trips and the first crossing of the English 
Channel by Bleriot A beautifully designed 
globe shows the route of the Graf Zeppelin 
around the world in 1929. Steering apparatus, 
motors, and propellers from different types of 


planes are there to make young would-be avi- 
ators long to get their hands on them. On the 
ceiling of this great hall hang an exciting group 
of planes,, those which were pioneers. There is 
one made by the Wright Brothers in 1908,, 
others by Bleriot, Grade and Rumpler, the first 
metal plane made by Junkers in 1913, and a 
Fokker of 1918. 

Young people with, a scientific bent may 
spend absorbed hours in the rooms devoted to 
mechanics,, electricity, chemistry, telegraphy, 
and radio. In the chemistry department there 
is a picturesque room, an alchemist's laboratory 
of the sixteenth century. It is a low-vaulted 
room, its walls hung with all sorts of curious 
apparatus, and furnished with the ovens and 
furnaces, mortars and distilling hoods which 
were used at that time. An apothecary's shop 
of the eighteenth century is a very attractive 
place with its polished brown counters and 
shelves, the rows and rows of decorated jars 
and phials, the shiny brass pestle and mortar 
and scales. 

Let us go on to see the fascinating glass 
blower's shop of the fifteenth century, where 


the kiln glows with the appearance of fire and 
figures of men are performing the different 
processes of whirling and blowing the glass. 
The old pottery shop nearby is very fine too, 
and there are beautiful examples of pottery, 
porcelain, and glass in these rooms. 

Continuing the delightful process of seeing 
how things are made, we may go on to the old 
paper mill of the eighteenth century with its 
cumbersome wooden machinery, the stone 
troughs for crushing the rags, the presses and 
drying room. In contrast to that is the big 
model of a modern paper-making machine. 

From paper we go quite naturally to the 
story of writing and printing. There are ex- 
amples of ancient picture writing and hiero- 
glyphics, of Egyptian, Greek and Roman writ- 
ing. In the corner is a medieval monk's cell In 
which the monk sits in his robes illuminating a 
sheet of parchment with Gothic letters and 
flower borders in brilliant colors. 

Turning from hand-lettering to the printed 
book, we find a printer's workshop of the six- 
teenth century with its hand press, letter cases 


and handmade type. That leads us on to a 
whole series of printing presses showing the 
development from a primitive specimen to the 
elaborate efficient presses of today. We may 
study the making of all kinds of plates for the 
reproduction of illustrations, and the processes 
for making woodcuts, etchings, engravings and 
lithographs. In connection with these rooms 
there is a fine collection of prints, and of books 
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

The textile rooms are interesting too, show- 
ing the processes for making different fabrics, 
the hand-weaving looms and the big modern 
machines for weaving cottons, woolens and 

Anyone who has days to spend in the mu- 
seum may go right on. He may see the whole 
history of the dwellings men have made for 
themselves since primitive times, and how agri- 
culture has developed from the most archaic 
tilling of the soil. He may learn all about heat- 
ing and lighting systems and water supplies. 

Then there is the measuring of time and ex- 
amples of all kinds of watch- and clock-mak- 


ing. And there are very Interesting rooms full 
of musical instruments of all ages. 

Before we leave the museum come with me 
up to the top of the building where everything 
pertaining to astronomy is shown. Here are 
three observatories with great telescopes for 
studying the heavens. In one of these towers 
the cupola can be turned so that any part of 
the sky may be viewed at will, and the plat- 
form can be raised or lowered. We may get a 
good look at the sun through one of die 

In the astronomy rooms the story of the solar 
system is made vividly clear by means of that 
wonderful invention, the planetarium. We go 
into a circular room which is darkened while 
the attendant explains the movements of plan- 
ets and stars twinkling on the dark walls which 
represent the heavens. This first room demon- 
strates the ancient idea that the earth was the 
center of the universe, the Ptolemaic theory. 
And so we see by glowing globes revolving in 
the darkness the loops of the planets around 
the sun, and the sun revolving around the 


earth. Then we go Into another circular room 
where the solar system is explained by the Co- 
pernican theory, the belief held today. A great 
globe in the center of the room represents the 
sun, and while we watch, fascinated, we see the 
earth and planets, in the form of other shining 
globes, revolving around it, each in its orbit. 
We see the moon going around the earth, 
eclipses of the sun and the moon, and the 
changes of the seasons on the earth according 
to its distance from the sun. 

But a German child doesn't have to go to 
Munich to see this fine invention, for there 
are planetariums in many cities of Germany. I 
know of them in Berlin* Duesseldorf, Stutt- 
gart and Dresden. Fine as they arg in the 
Deutsches Museum, these others are more won- 
derful, for not only do they explain the solar 
system but tell the whole story of the heavens. 
Each planetarium is a good-sized circular 
building with a domed roof, and the room is 
capable of holding an audience of several hun- 
dred people. When the lights go out and the 
dark dome overhead is filled with shining clus- 


ters of stars the illusion is remarkable. By an 
intricate electrical apparatus die lecturer can 
cause the constellations to rise and set; he can 
also show their positions in the sky at various 
times of year and in different parts of the 
world. He begins by describing and demon- 
strating the sky of Germany in winter and in 
summer. Then he shows the arrangement of 
constellations which people see in a southern 
land below the equator, what the equatorial 
sky is like, and that of the far north. One sees 
the stars shift and the heavens change as the 
earth turns, and one becomes absorbed by the 
story enacted on the dark dome. 

When I was visiting the planetarium in 
Dresden most of the people in the audience 
were schoolboys and girls who were spending 
a Saturday afternoon studying the universe in 
this delightful way. Learning may become an 
exciting process when books and classrooms are 
supplemented by such things as planetariums 
and intelligent museums. We often need con- 
crete objects and pictures to look at to make 
the subjects we are studying become vividly 
alive to us. Apparently German educators real- 


ize this, for a large part of a child's school time 
in Germany is spent in museums.^ 

The Munich children have not only the 
Deutsches Museum to study, but marvelous 
collections of ancient painting and sculpture, 
and the Zwinger Gallery in Dresden has some 
of the greatest masterpieces of painting in the 

One of the most delightful places to study 
the artistic past of Germany as it was expressed 
in house and church furnishings, utensils, and 
ornamentation, is the German Museum in Nu- 
remberg. The building itself is a beautiful set- 
ting for the ancient art it contains, for it is an 
old abbey with stately vaulted halls and 

When Nuremberg children are learning 
about Germany of the Middle Ages and the 
Renaissance they can come to this museum and 
see just what people used in their houses, and 
what they wore in those earlier days. 

These children still have rather ordinary por- 

* There is now a planetarium in our own country, lo- 
cated in Chicago. This also was built under the direction 
of Carl Zeiss, who planned the ones in Germany. Before 
long other cities will probably have planetariums. 


celain stoves to heat their homes,, but here they 
see the handsome ancestors of their stoves. 
They are impressive affairs, five or sk feet 
high, ornamented with elaborate pictures in 
glazed and painted tiles. They look at the 
richly colored paintings on glass which their 
ancestors set in their windows, the heavy, or- 
nately carved furniture of their rooms. Here 
are die tapestries, the beautiful pottery, the 
brass and copper utensils, the flagons and gob- 
lets of etched and painted glass, which made an 
old German burgher's home such a rich-look- 
ing, stately place. 

Children of specially artistic bent may find 
splendid sculpture and painting to study, or if 
they are more practical, they will enjoy the 
room of hand-blocked textiles, showing the 
blocks and the whole process of printing the 

And when young Nurembergers are ready 
to study their own town they find preserved in 
the museum masterpieces made by the toymak- 
ers of past years who gave the town its reputa- 
tion for that industry. The doll houses are 
enchanting, built with tall peaked gables like 


the old houses of the town, and furnished from 
attic to cellar in the most minute detail The 
furniture,, dishes, glass, the pots and pans in 
the kitchen,, are miniatures of those things pre- 
served in the museum, and the families occu- 
pying the rooms are dressed in copies of the 
clothes seen in the costume room. The toy ani- 
mals, the dolls, the paper theaters and wooden 
puppets, are all fascinating, and I am sure Nu- 
remberg children must spend many hours in 
these rooms. 

On the whole, I think that German children 
have opportunities of the most varied interest 
offered to them while they pursue the adven- 
ture of getting an education. 


WHEN the summer dawn breaks over a 
Bavarian village, sheltered under the 
great shapes of mountains, there is already a stir 
in the houses, and presently groups of peasants 
come down the street carrying rakes and 
scythes over their shoulders, singing a gay old 
melody. They are starting for their long day of 
labor in the wide valley fields. Along the field 
paths they pass wayside shrines, crucifixes shel- 
tered under wooden roofs. There they stop to 



make a morning prayer and leave a little offer- 
ing of fresh wildflowers. 

Meanwhile in the village the morning sun 
shines on the rows of low white plastered 
houses with wide roofs. Everything is awake 
and alive now. Flocks of sheep and goats trot 
out towards the hills driven by barefooted 
brown boys who are as agile as the goats them- 
selves at clambering up stony mountain paths. 
Karl the little gooseherd comes piping along, 
playing a quaint tune on his flute. All the geese 
run cackling from their night shelters and 
waddle after him to the green meadows where 
they will spend the day in his charge. 

Small Maria runs from the house to fetch 
water for her mother from the pump in the 
middle of the street. Everyone in the family is 
busy except the tow-headed baby brother and 
sister sitting contentedly in a little wooden cart 
outside the door. Maria's big sister Hilma has 
plenty to do, for the mother has gone to work 
with the men in the fields and the girls must 
clean the house and take care of the babies. 
Life is no idle playtime for peasant children, 
they must all help as soon as they are big 


enough. But they manage to make time for 
merry games up and down the village lanes, 
and the young herdsmen on the hills may ex- 
plore mountain paths or dream in the sun 

while their charges browse. Towards evening 
the workers come back from the fields march- 
ing beside the wide wooden hay-carts made of 
poles, heaped with fresh hay and drawn by big 
white oxen. The women's blue dresses and 
white headkerchiefs look very pretty in the 


golden evening light and the men are pictur- 
esque too in their short leather trousers and 
peaked hats with perky long feathers at the 

What a pretty village it is to which they re- 
turn! Against the white walls of houses the 
green shutters and brilliant flowers of window- 
boxes look very gay. Under the eaves little fig- 
ures of saints look down from their niches on 
the villagers. Bavarian peasants are devotedly 
religious so besides placing statues under the 
eaves they do honor to their beloved saints and 
angels by painting them in warmly tinted pic- 
tures on their house walls. In the center of the 
village stands the white church, sometimes dec- 
orated with pictures too, and carrying a bulb- 
shaped dome on the top of its slender steeple- 
Its jangling bell rings out messages to the peo- 
ple many times a day and they love its plain 
interior with the holy pictures,, the crucifix, 
and the statue of the Virgin with paper flowers 
and candles before it 

The name-days of the saints and the other 
religious celebrations are happy festivals for 
the peasants. Then they come to mass in their 


best costumes and afterwards there Is a proces- 
sion through the town with the priest and 
people chanting, the men carrying banners and 
statues of the saints. 

The activities of their lives and many of their 
festivals are bound up with the seasons, for 
their life comes from the earth. Sowing and 
harvest and the tending of animals make the 
events of the year. In the summer the cattle 
are driven up to the high mountain pastures to 
graze until autumn. On the hillsides the gentle 
pretty tinkling of the bells they wear can be 
heard all day. At night men from the village 
go up to the pastures to milk the cows and 
bring back the milk to the families. When the 
days begin to grow cool the guardians return 
to the valley with the herds, celebrating the 
day with festivities. The animals are decked 
with wreaths and high headdresses of flowers 
and come trotting home to the villages with 
their bells chiming gayly. The herdsmen and 
their girls dress up in their best costumes and 
gather in the country to dance. The musicians 
play rollicking tunes on accordions, flutes and 
violins, and the men and girls prance and whirl 


through the jolly peasant dances. The old peo- 
ple and small children look on and applaud, 
and Maria and Karl dream o the time when 
they will be big enough to learn the steps and 
join the dance. 

Bavarian peasants look very gay when they 
are dressed up for a festival The men wear 
green jackets, short leather pants with tassels 
at the sides and embroidered suspenders. Every 
man has a peaked green hat with a long cock 
feather or a chamois brush at the back, and 
often a sprig of edelweiss tucked in the band. 
In some villages the girls wear long full skirts 
and pretty little shawls crossed over their bod- 
ices. In other places they have dresses of 
brightly flowered cotton with tight bodices, 
full skirts and little white yokes with puffed 
sleeves. Over the dress they wear a plain-col- 
ored apron harmonizing with the color of the 
dress. Many of them still do their hair in a 
crown of braids around the head, and a Ba- 
varian girl in one of these costumes is indeed 
a gay and pretty sight. Modern clothes are win- 
ning favor with peasant girls, however, and in 


many places these pretty dresses are only worn 
on holidays. 

Winter comes early to the mountain village, 
and then the snow begins to fall, making the 
peaks glitter against the sky and covering the 
wide protecting roofs with a heavy blanket. 
The children run to school every morning, 
plowing their way through the snowy lanes, 
and return late in the afternoon. There is little 
outdoor work to be done so men and animals 
retreat into their warm shelters. 

The family room of Maria's house is a cosy 
place in winter. The walls are of soft unfin- 
ished wood decorated with a crucifix and a few 
holy pictures. Between the starched white cur- 
tains at the little windows pots of fuchsia and 
geranium bloom gayly. There is a tall square 
porcelain stove in one corner with a wooden 
bench built around it. Karl and Maria snuggle 
here in the warm comer, singing their little 
songs or wheedling fairy stories from their 
grandmothers, who have an immense store of 
legends handed down from their own moth- 
ers. In Bavaria people still believe in fairies and 
the spirits of mountain, lake and wood. They 


cherish the legends about these elfin creatures 
as much as they do the stories of the saints 
which are also a part of grandmother's reper- 
tory. The father and his friends come in cold 
and snowy from their work and sit around the 
stove smoking their long Bavarian pipes and 
gravely discussing the affairs of the village. The 
men use the winter months to work over their 
farm implements and wagons, getting every- 
thing in shape for the spring, and they have to 
labor over the woodpile to keep enough fuel 
chopped for the fires. But winter is a long dull 
time, and the peasants enliven it with festivals 
of singing and dancing. Christmas is the great 
celebration but there are many other religious 

Bavarians are naturally artistic and deft with 
their hands. In most villages there are skilful 
woodcarvers who keep their shops full of 
young apprentices creating the charming little 
figures of peasants and animals, saints and ma- 
donnas, which are sold throughout the coun- 
try, for woodcarving is one of their great 
industries. In other villages their artistic skill 
is expressed in the delicate work of making 


violins and other instruments. So if Maria's big 
brother Hans feels an urge to be an artist when 
he leaves school he may learn one of these fine 
crafts or become a painter of pictures on the 
house fronts- But whether he is an artist or no 
he will be a farmer as well and his father's 
assistant in the work of the fields. 

The children of most Bavarian villages are 
well acquainted with the people and the ways 
of towns in spite of their own simple life, for 
many visitors come to this lovely country both 
in summer and winter. Automobiles and mo- 
torcycles drive through the villages, mingling 
with the carts and bicycles of the natives. The 
small pensions and hotels are full of city folk 
in summer and the village girls take the chance 
to study town fashions and to copy them. In 
the winter crowds of people in gay sport 
clothes come out for skiing and skating. The 
young peasants, warm-hearted and kind, make 
friends with the hiking bands of town young 
folk who come wandering through their vil- 
lages at all seasons of the year, and their hori- 
zon widens. 

The life of towns seems very enticing to 


them and they try to get jobs in the city when 
they are through school. It is hard for a boy 
to escape from his father's farm, but sometimes 
he succeeds. When a girl is through school she 
stays at home helping her mother until she 
marries, if her father can afford to let her. If 
there is a big family she goes out to service in 
the household of some rich farmer in the 
neighborhood, unless she can achieve her am- 
bition to get a job as servant or nursemaid with 
a lady in the town. It will be a hardworking 
life, but that is nothing to a strong industrious 
peasant girl, and the glamour of streets and 
shops and lights will more than compensate. 
But whether they break away from home or 
work for their fathers and mothers, Hans and 
Hilma and their friends are more than likely 
to marry village comrades. The wedding is a 
grand festival with much gayety and feasting, 
a religious marriage in the church and a civil 
one before the burgomaster of the town. Then 
the young man will take his bride home to his 
father's house. They will live with the old peo- 
ple and help them until the father dies when 
the son will become head of the house. 


This peasant life is something which we 
know nothing about in our land. But in Ger- 
many there are great sections of the country 
where boys' and girls grow up in just such a 
simple, hardworking atmosphere, close to the 
soil, following the traditions of their ancestors 
and living in much the same way as did their 
grandfathers and grandmothers. 

The Black Forest is one of the most primi- 
tive and picturesque peasant regions. I have 
already told you something of its gorgeous 
fairy-haunted forests and its quaint towns. The 
farmhouses with huge roofs, such as the one 
where my friend stayed with the band of 
young hikers, snuggle up against the hills with 
wide green fields before them. Many Black 
Forest farmers are prosperous and own their 
houses and land, but they take hard work for 
all the family as a matter of course. Whole 
families work out on the great hill slopes har- 
vesting the hay and grain. The small children 
have little wooden carts, copies of their fathers' 
wagons, in which they drag home their share 
of the hay. The boys and girls sing and chatter 
while they work and stop now and then for 


a laughing tussle and chase. At noon they carry 
their lunches up into the shelter of the tall fir 
trees at the top of the hill where they can rest 
in the aromatic shade. 

When they come home at night the hay 
wagon is driven up the farm lane to the back 
of the house which is on a higher level than 
the front. The great thatched roof slopes down 
to the ground and through the doorway in the 
center the wagon goes into a cavernous shad- 
owy place under the peak of the roof where 
the hay and farm wagons are kept. The horses 
are led around to the side of the house to be 
given a drink at the stone watering trough and 
then they are stabled in the ground floor where 
the cows also are at home. Stacks of wood are 
piled up under the overhanging eaves and a 
stairway leads up to a balcony across the front 
of the house by which one enters the family 
rooms on the second floor. So the one shelter- 
ing roof gathers the whole farm outfit under 
its broad eaves. 

Often these old houses have rhymed mot- 
toes painted in quaint old letters on the timbers 
in the peak of the gable mottoes expressing 


a religious or philosophical idea,, or sometimes 
a more lively statement such as that the man 
who built this house is the master and can do 
what he likes. Some of the pottery jugs and 
plates on the old wooden dresser in the living 
room are also decorated with rhymes. I have 
already described one of these low, dusky liv- 
ing rooms, warmly colored by the old brown 
wood of the walls and furniture. In the kitchen 
the pots in which the soup and potatoes for 
supper are steaming, are set in a primitive cook- 
ing place of masonry with the fire underneath. 
Copper pots and pans gleam from their places 
on the wall 

The women and children tend the cows, pigs 
and geese, and work in the gardens and or- 
chards. Even in this daily labor they often wear 
long heavy peasant dresses, the little girls exact 
copies of their mothers. In the villages the girls 
and boys have taken to modern dress except on 
Sundays and holidays. 

Sunday morning service is a social event sec- 
ond only to a village fete and in many places 
mother and the girls turn out in their best 
costumes, differing according to the region 


where they live. They gather In chattering 
groups around the church door,, the farm 
women enjoying the weekly opportunity to 
have a little gossip with their village friends, 
Nearly always they wear full dark skirts and 
tight bodices with white sleeves,, though in 
some villages the costume has a scarlet skirt 
and blue apron. The headdresses vary a good 
deal In one village the girls have little black 
silk caps with net frills and their mothers top 
this headgear with the most astonishing big 
hats loaded with black velvet pompons. The 
girls of another place come to church with tall 
stovepipe hats of scarlet or yellow tied tinder 
the chin, and in another they wear flat straw 
hats with long black streamers the longer the 
ribbons,, the more coquettish the girl ! 

Since Sunday is a bit of a holiday for the 
farm people they visit with their friends for 
a while after church, wandering around the 
little churchyard among the headstones dec- 
orated with tinsel wreaths, or sitting in the 
small gardens. The men gather in the Cast* 
haus for a Sunday mug of beer. Then they all 
walk back across the fields to their houses or 



mount the universal bicycle and go sailing off 
down the road. Any one of the girls in the full- 
skirted peasant costume is a funny sight on a 
bicycle, but the young lady in the tiny hat with 
streamers is a joy. Her big skirts billow like 

balloons and the long ribbons fly behind her 
in the wind. 

A village festival, However, or a wedding is 
the time when the Black Forest people vie 
with each other to be gayly costumed. Quite 
universally they celebrate the founding of their 
village church but it is not at all a solemn cere- 


mony. They have a mass, to be sure, and a pro- 
cession with chanting and banners, but after 
that they prepare to have a good day's fun. A 
merry-go-round and traveling sideshows have 
arrived. The boys and girls and small children 
have the time of their lives with these amuse- 
ments. There are shooting contests for the 
young men and dancing for all, on the village 
green or in the Gasthaus where there is much 
feasting and beer-drinking all day. At a fete 
like this the small girls trotting around in 
elaborate costumes are a delight. 

In some remote parts of the country an an- 
cient fete called the Gloc{fest or Bell Fair is 
still celebrated. Originally it was an occasion 
on which the goat- and cowherds exchanged 
the bells of their animals for others which 
pleased them better, or bargained for new ones. 
Now it is chiefly an excuse for a festival with 
plenty of feasting and beer-drinking at the vil- 
lage inn. Every herdsman brings a few bells, 
however, which he jangles continuously all 
day and sometimes swaps for those of a com- 
rade. The children come to have fun with the 
sideshows, young and old sample the various 


sweets,, fried cakes and sausages sold at the 
booths,, and the young herdsmen choose their 
girls and whirl them through the lively, stren- 
uous peasant dances for hours. 

When a Black Forest girl is married she has 
a celebration which she will remember the rest 
of her life. On the day before, the young men 
plant a pair of young evergreens before her 
father's door, decorated with colored paper 
streamers. At her future home, which may be 
quite far away, more evergreens are planted 
and the door is hung with paper flowers and 
tinsel. If her father is prosperous he has invited 
not only all the relatives but many friends for 
miles around. 

Early in the morning they begin trailing into 
the village, packed in peasant carts or mounted 
on bicycles. First they all go to the town hall 
for the civil marriage, and then the procession 
starts for the church while the bell rings madly. 
The bride is dressed with stiff gorgeousness in 
heavy silk with a brilliantly embroidered apron 
and bodice and a white ruff around her neck. 
On her head she wears the most preposterous 
tinseled cage covered with glass ornaments and 


tinseled flowers in gay colors so that she looks 
like a walking Christmas tree. The bridegroom 
has a scarlet waistcoat with brass buttons and a 
tricorn hat. The bridesmaids also wear glitter- 
ing cages on their heads., not so large or mag- 
nificent as the bride's, and they have embroi- 
dered aprons and bright-colored shawls crossed 
over their bodices. 

After the church ceremony, the whole com- 
pany, getting merrier every minute, marches to 
the village inn where the wedding feast has 
been prepared. The relatives and intimate 
friends are the guests of the girl's parents, but 
all the other friends, and even passing ac- 
quaintances, are welcomed to the feast and the 
dancing, paying for their own food and drink ! 
What a feast it is ! Course after course of heavy 
meat, sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut, a 
salad, and at the end a great wedding cake 
holding a bouquet in its hollow center. All is 
washed down with plenty of beer and the good 
wine of the country. The young people get up 
and dance in the intervals of the meal in order 
to have room for more, and when the feast is 
finally over, the dancing becomes fast and furi- 


ous. The merrymaking may go on all day and 
all night, but at last the young pair are ready 
to start for their new home in the bridal cart 
or Brautwagon, which has been prepared by 
the bride's family. It contains her bedding and 
linen, her furniture and dishes, and on the 
sides are hung brushes, pans and pots, so that 
she will be all ready to set up housekeeping as 
soon as she arrives. The bride is perched up on 
the pile of bedding, her husband leads the 
horse, and off they go to their new home. 

Peasant children in the Black Forest grow 
up in a life which is less changed from the 
ways of their ancestors than the Bavarians, and 
they are even more likely to continue in their 
fathers' footsteps and go right on living in the 
same place. When they do wish to break away 
from farm life they don't have to go very far 
from home, for there are industrial towns in 
the Black Forest country, thriving on the 
watch- and clockmaking industry which is an 
ancient trade of the country. The old days 
when the skilled clockmaker traveled from vil- 
lage to village carrying a load of cuckoo clocks 
on his back are past Now all sorts of intricate 


delicate timepieces are made by the wholesale 
in factories. 

But for those who stay on the land life has 
many satisfactions. In the spring the country is 
joyous with blossoming fruit trees and brilliant 
green fields against the dark forest, and in sum- 
mer the outdoor life under the sun is pleasant 
in spite of hard work. When winter comes the 
deep blankets of snow wrap the country in a 
great silence, and then how welcome is the 
shelter of the great roof which makes a shield 
against snow and wind, and keeps men and 
animals warm within. They are shut in and 
rather lonely, but the time is lightened by sing- 
ing and the telling of old legends, for here too 
hobgoblins and witches have reality. 

The sunny Rhineland is different indeed 
from this region of deep pine forest, but here 
also children live close to the soil and grow up 
in a simplicity that knows very little of towns. 
Along the Rhine and the smaller rivers flowing 
into it, such as the Ahr and Moselle, the hill- 
sides are covered with vineyard terraces so that 
the whole landscape is ribbed, and the life of 


the villages Is bound up with the tending of 
vines and the making of wine. 

Only in the winter is there a little leisure, 
when the men's chief work is to watch over 
the fermenting and maturing of the wine, and 
the children go to school In the spring young 
and old begin working in the vineyards again. 
If a man has prospered well enough to own 
his vineyard his whole family works with him. 
Otherwise all but the small children are hired 
by the big proprietors. It is laborious work, for 
manure and fertilizer must be carried up the 
steep terraces in baskets on the men's backs, 
the ground must be kept free of weeds, vine 
tendrils must be tied up, and marauding birds 
driven away. Then the men must clamber up 
and down the terraces carrying heavy cans of 
copper sulphate from which they spray the 
vines to kill disease, turning the leaves and 
their own clothes a coppery blue. All day long 
men and women, girls and boys, labor under 
the hot sun which ripens the grapes so well, or 
in chilly rain when the season is bad. But the 
Rhlneland people rve cheerful and light- 
hearted, they joke and sing as they work. 


The villages are built close along the river 
banks, for the hillsides are sacred to the vines. 
There are a few narrow cobbled streets lined 
with pretty little houses,, a few village inns with 
shady gardens, and a small church. The vine- 
yards mount to ruined castles or ancient chap- 
els and monasteries. It is a land full of 
romance,, song, and legend* 

In the Rheingau, the section of the Rhine 
having the best vineyards, the grape harvest is 
a great festival. Early on the morning of No- 
vember first the bells begin to clamor and call 
from every church steeple, echoing from one 
village to another up and down the river. It is 
the signal that the grapes are ripe and the har- 
vest may begin. Young and old turn out to the 
vineyards, cutting the full bunches of grapes 
with shears and laying them in baskets. Men 
go about among the workers carrying tall 
wooden containers on their backs into which 
the baskets are emptied. The grapes are then 
dumped from the containers into carts and 
driven away to the wine presses. If the season 
has been good so that the grapes have ripened 


well, the harvesting is a time of happy labor, 
songs and jokes passing back and forth, be- 
tween the workers, and sly merry flirtation 
going on among the girls and boys. 

The proprietors of the big vineyards in the 
Rheingau give a grand festival on the day 
when the last load of grapes is gathered. The 
cart, implements, and cask of grapes are dec- 
orated with vine leaves and flowers, the men 
wear flowers in their hats and buttonholes, and 
the girls and women put wreaths on their 
heads. One of the prettiest girls is chosen queen 
of the festival, and dressed in an old national 
costume, she is enthroned on the cask sur- 
rounded with garlands. With the village band 
at its head, the procession marches from the 
vineyard to the headquarters of the firm, gen- 
erally an old castle. 

Here the proprietor, with officials and citi- 
zens of the village, is waiting to receive them. 
The queen of the harvest thanks the "Master" 
for the festival and recites a poem to congratu- 
late him on the harvest Then begins a glorious 
merrymaking with speeches, songs and danc- 


ing, and plenty of the fine Rhine wine which 
the workers have labored so hard to perfect for 
the pleasure o people all over the world. It is 
the happiest day of the year for boys and girls 
of the Rhineland. 


GRETA of Nuremberg wakes up 
-** in a peaked old house in a back street 
It is a house several hundred years old the 
floors sag and the walls are crooked and 
many generations o people have occupied it 
She slips out from under the puffy feather bed 
on her narrow wooden bedstead and dresses 
quickly, for she must help her small brothers 
and sisters with their washing and their break- 
fast of coffee and milk and rolls, 



After breakfast is out of die way, Greta 
comes from the house carrying her market bag 
of woven straw over her arm and goes up the 
street past rows of ancient houses to the big 
market place. She is a demure, serious young 
person in a dark cotton dress with her hair 
neatly parted and braided in two tight 

The big cobbled square Is very lively and 
Interesting. Around the two beautiful foun- 
tains in the center are crowded the stands of 
the market people shaded by wide-spreading 
umbrellas. Greta makes her way among the 
chattering housewives and market women, 
greeting friends here and there, for other girls 
also are shopping for their mothers. She hov- 
ers over the heaps of cauliflowers and gorgeous 
purple cabbages, the beets and onions, and 
portly potatoes the German staff of life. She 
knows very well how to bargain and to get 
the most for the pfennigs which she must 
spend so carefully. Presently she goes to the 
other side of the square to wander among the 
stands of beautiful fresh flowers and choose a 
small bouquet to take home to Muttl Germans 


love flowers so mucli that no matter how poor 
they are, they manage to have at least a few 
blossoms or a growing plant around them. 

All morning the stir of people goes on in the 
market place, the fountains splash, and the 
vegetables and flowers glow in the sunlight. It 
is the most interesting spot in the town to 
Greta and her friends, and after they have 
helped their mothers with the housework, they 
all come back with the young brothers and sis- 
ters solemn, shaven-headed little boys, and 
fair-haired small girls in quaint pinafores. It is 
summer and there is no school so they are 
making the most of their freedom. 

At noon the big bell of the ancient clock on 
the Liebjrauenfyrche. above the busy square 
booms out twelve heavy strokes. The children 
stop their play and run to look up at the tower. 
Under the clock face sits a statue of the Em- 
peror Charles IV in gilded robes. As the bell 
stops ringing a little door at one side of the 
emperor pops open and out marches a row of 
knights in scarlet robes, the seven Electors. 
Each one gives the emperor a jerky bow as he 
sails past and disappears in a door on the other 


side. The children watch the show delightedly, 
for although they can see it every day it is one 
of their pet entertainments. 

Greta's father is sexton of the Liebfrauen- 
'kirche, one of the most beautiful old churches 
in Nuremberg. But his wages are small and 
Greta, being a practical young lady of twelve, 
has thought of a way to help him out. All the 
afternoon she wanders about near the church 
watching the groups of tourists who come to 
see it, generally accompanied by a guide. When 
she sees a few visitors prowling around with- 
out a guide, she goes up to them and shyly 
offers her services. It makes no difference to 
her if they are English or American, for she 
has learned a little of the language in school 
and she acquires a few more words every day 
from the tourists. 

Very competently she leads the people 
around the church, lovely with painted pillars 
and gorgeous stained glass, telling them who 
painted the altarpiece and who carved the 
charming angels with painted robes and gilded 
wings. She knows the history of every carving 
and painting in the church and the coins she 


gathers from admiring tourists will buy many 
little extras for herself and the brothers and 

Greta and her friends live in a town many 
hundreds of years old,, a place famous in his- 
tory. It Is a matter of course to them to see the 
sturdy walls and round towers of a medieval 
castle rising above the housetops of the streets 
where they play daily. In school they learn 
the history of their home and with their teach- 
ers they go on tours through the town, hearing 
on the spot the events which happened in the 
ancient castle, the market place, and the 
churches, studying the ramparts and towers of 
the medieval town. They learn to know the 
lives of the great artists who made Nuremberg 
famous In the sixteenth century, and then as 
they are taken through the churches, which 
are treasure houses of ancient art, they study 
the sculptured tombs and statues, the paintings 
and old stained glass- 
In the streets they see the graceful statues 
of madonnas standing in niches on the corners 
of houses, or carved humorous reliefs on the 
facades of buildings. They stop by finely- 


designed bronze fountains which have been 
spraying water into their basins since the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries. They learn 
which artist created each one of these beautiful 
things. They go to the house of the great artist 
Albrecht Diirer and study his engravings and 
woodcuts in the very rooms where he lived and 
worked. The past history and art of their 
homeland means something very real to them 
and they take great pride in it. No wonder that 
Greta can explain the old church to visitors 
with so much intelligence and interest. 

Modern Nuremberg is a big town built up 
around the medieval section where Greta lives. 
The children of business men who have a little 
money to spend are more interested in these 
new streets than in the historic town, though' 
they are proud of that too. Here are plenty of 
amusing shops of clothes, books, toys, and the 
delicious leb\uchen, the gingerbread and 
honey cakes filled with nuts for which Nurem- 
berg is famous. The mothers of this part of 
Nuremberg patronize delicatessen shops, even 
more tempting and appetizing in their displays 
than the ones in our country, for Germany Is 


their original home. Their collections of bo- 
logna, liverwurst, sausage, and cheeses, are par- 
ticularly inviting. 

The barber, who calls himself a Friseur, 
hangs a great polished brass plate above his 
door as a sign of his trade. 

There are many little shops called condi- 
tofci^ a combination of pastry and coffee shop 
where Nuremberg mothers love to come with 
their daughters in the afternoon to have coffee 
with whipped cream and one of the many va- 
rieties of lcb\uchcn. Nuremberg boasts several 
big cafes with terraces on the street, where or- 
chestras play all the afternoon and evening. 
Families with a little money and free time 
come here to be amused groups of women 
and girls with small children in the afternoon, 
fathers and young men as well in the evening. 
While the waiters rash around the crowded 
rooms with trays of food and drink, the or- 
chestras regale the spirits of their audiences 
with Strauss waltzes, classical music and occa- 
sional jazz. 

There are no such citified amusements for 
boys and girls who live in medieval towns like 



Rothenburg, Nordlinger, or DinkelsbuhL 
Their towns, with the ancient buildings, ram- 
parts, and towered gateways, look as though 
they had been put under a spell in the Middle 
Ages and were hardly awake yet. People lead 

a very quiet provincial life and the children 
must make their amusements from simple 
things. They like to make friends with the vis- 
itors who come from different parts of Ger- 
many or from foreign lands to see their beau- 
tiful town, or to watch the traveling artists who 


set up tKeir easels in all the picturesque corners. 
When mother sends them to one of the village 
shops for supplies they drag home the potatoes, 
bread, and sacks of flour, in little wooden carts. 
They help their parents work the small gar- 
dens in the backyards, and they tend the chick- 
ens, and drive the family cow or geese down to 
the green meadows outside the town. 

In the streets the small boys and girls play 
pretty old singing games, turning round and 
round in circles and chanting loudly the sim- 
ple melodies just as their mothers did before 
them. Sunday morning is a favorite time for 
these peaceful games, for then they are all 
starchily dressed in their best and must be care- 
ful not to get dirty. So they prance and sing 
and bow in their merry-go-round circles with 
so much pleasure that they are sorry when 
their mothers call them to dinner. 

Many of these towns commemorate some 
dramatic event in their past history with an 
annual festival Rothenburg has a great pag- 
eant early in the summer in which many of the 
townspeople take part, and it is a proud day 
for the boys and girls of the town when they 


play at being the young folk of seventeenth 
century Rothenburg, dressed in the costumes of 
the time. 

The event they are celebrating is the saving 
of their town after it had been besieged and 
captured by the Catholic General Tilly in the 
Thirty Years 5 War. Their Burgomaster did it 
by accepting the dare of the enemy general to 
drink a gallon of wine at one draught. He 
succeeded, too, and it is no wonder that future 
generations of Nurembergers celebrated such 
a mighty deed ! 

The pageant begins with the battle between 
the besiegers and the townsmen outside the 
walls,, a battle dramatically staged with shots 
of powder from old guns,, and struggles be- 
tween footsoldiers and cavalrymen dressed in 
the style of the seventeenth century. Then the 
triumphant enemy soldiers march into the 
town and begin looting the houses, the terrified 
people rush into the market place and implore 
mercy from General Tilly. 

The town councilors, stately in raffs and 
velvet gowns, bring him a great goblet of wine 
and beseech him to spare the town. Then the 


general laughingly makes the famous dare and 
the Burgomaster takes him up. Higher and 
higher he tilts the great flagon while the men 
watch him breathlessly and the women and 
children on their knees pray for his success. 
The deed is done at last and the general keeps 
his word and spares the town. Then there is a 
scene of rejoicing and all the church bells are 
rung madly. 

All this is played with great spirit and sin- 
cerity by the people of Rothenburg, but I am 
sure the Burgomaster's flagon (which,, by the 
way, is supposed to be the original one) is 
empty nowadays. I was not near enough to see. 
It is a grand show and people come from far 
and near to witness it. 

The Rothenburgers have also revived an- 
other charming festival of their ancestors, the 
Shepherds' Dance. It is given in the big market 
place by the young men and girls in delightful 
old costumes, twirling round and round and 
weaving back and forth in the pretty figures 
of the dance. 

In old Dinkelsbuhl also, the people play a 
historical pageant every year on the third Mon- 


day in July, another story of the Thirty Years 3 
War. It is really a children's festival for it cele- 
brates the deed of a Dinkelsbuhl girl who led 
a procession of six hundred children to beg the 
general who was besieging the town to spare 
the lives and houses of the citizens. 

When the boys and girls of these old towns 
play the parts of their ancestors in the dramatic 
revivals of the past they must have a great pride 
in the history of their homes, and the old build- 
ings and ramparts around them must take their 
places as living parts of the story* 

What a complete contrast there is between 
the life of a child in Rothenburg and in Ber- 
lin ! With its crowded traffic, busses, subways, 
and flashing electric signs at night, Berlin is as 
modern as New York. The boys and girls there 
have many of the same interests and occupa- 
tions as New York boys and girls, though they 
are more inclined to spend their free time in 
outdoor exercise 'and less likely to haunt the 
movie theaters. 

Berliners live in apartments just as we do in 
big cities, but most of them have a big heavy 
outer door with a porter's office just inside it 


The porter pops out of his cage to ask the busi- 
ness of anyone entering and to direct him to 
the right apartment, and if any householder 
forgets the big key of this outer door when he 
goes out at night he will have to ring for the 
porter to let him in, for the door is locked at 
ten o'clock. In many houses and apartments of 
Germany, even in Berlin, porcelain stoves are 
still used for heat, though not such monumen- 
tal ones as those of old. 

Even in their biggest city Germans manage 
to arrange for fresh air and growing things. 
Going along the streets of such residential dis- 
tricts as Wilmersdorf and Charlottenburg, one 
sees rows and rows of apartment houses with 
balconies on every floor overhung with climb- 
ing vines, the balustrades crowded with pots of 
flowers. The balconies are furnished with 
wicker chairs and tables and make pleasant 
outdoor sitting rooms occupied by the families 
at all times of day and evening. Sometimes 
meals are served there in summer. 

Young Berliners have plenty to occupy and 
amuse them. When they want to shop there are 
huge department stores such as we have in our 


big cities, or other fine shops for clothes,, sport 
goods,, books., and toys. Outdoor sport is very 
easily managed for there are many tennis 
courts on the outskirts of the city, as well as 
athletic fields, and the sport ground of the 
great Stadium, all comfortably reached by 
subway or street car. For outdoor gayety they 
go to the big cafe gardens where they find 
music, food, and sometimes dancing. Or they 
go out to the wooded parks and beach resorts 
of the lakes outside Berlin. I shall tell you more 
about all these interesting places later on. 

One of the amusements of Berlin youngsters 
is to go out to the great airport at Tempelhof 
just outside the city. This is the chief airport of 
Germany although there are many others. Avi- 
ation has been developed to a high degree in 
this country and people take an airplane for a 
journey as casually as they take a train. 

When the children arrive they go from the 
entrance to the broad terraces in front of the 
landing field, set with tables and chairs under 
striped umbrellas. People may sit and have re- 
freshments here while they watch the air traf- 
fic, but the boys spend most of their time 


hanging over the fence, watching the coming 
and going o planes from all over the country 
and even from foreign lands. They may study 
the great Luf t-Hansa machines being prepared 
for departure to Amsterdam or London, and 
observe the whole fascinating performance; 
the mechanics and pilots working over the en- 
gines, passengers and luggage being stowed in 
their cabins; then the race down the field and 
the final roar as the plane takes off and soars 
into the sky. I am sure it must be a special treat 
for a Berlin boy to go for a ride over the city in 
one of the sightseeing planes. 

Germany has Its splendid Zeppelins as well 
as airplanes, and its air heroes, as for example 
Count von Eckener^ the commander of the 
Graf Zeppelin which made such a marvelous 
record going around the world. Since air trans- 
port is developed to such a degree I would ex- 
pect German boys to be intensely interested in 
aviation and ambitious to make flying a career. 
I was unable, however, to discover any such 
enthusiastic devotion to aviation and its heroes 
as there is among our boys. Perhaps it is be- 


cause flying is such, a well-established fact that 
it is taken as a matter of course. 

There is no time for flying fields, cafe gar- 
dens, or movies in the lives of the hundreds of 
radical young workers in Berlin. They have 
their clubs for recreation in their scanty spare 
time, where they join together for evenings of 
gymnastics, discussion, or singing. On Sun- 
days the club members go on excursions out- 
side the city. Many of the young people spend 
their evenings at night schools, supplementing 
the schooling they had to leave to go to work. 

The poor districts of big German cities do 
not look like slums because the people keep 
their streets and houses so clean. No matter 
how pale and thin the children may be, they 
too are clean, and their clothes carefully 

Germans feel so strongly the importance of 
sunlight, air and good health, that even in the 
big cities every effort is made to create breath- 
ing spaces. German cities, for one thing, have 
many trees, and many small green parks with 
shrubbery, fountains and trees, where people 
may escape momentarily from the dust and 


noise of streets. Then the city governments 
work very intelligently to provide parks and 
sport grounds within reach of all. 

In the hills outside of Frankfurt on the river 
Main there was an enormous soldiers' camp 
in pre-war days. After the war a group of peo- 
ple, who wanted to provide country life for 
Frankfurt children, bought the place and cre- 
ated a Kinderdorf, or Children's Village, 
which they called Wegscheid, because it stood 
at a crossroads. Now it is supported by the city 
in combination with philanthropic societies 
and wealthy merchants. It is in the midst of 
beautiful country and is such a big place that 
1400 children can be accommodated there at 
one time. 

All Frankfurt children during their last two 
years of school, when they are thirteen and 
fourteen, have a four weeks' vacation at Wegs- 
cheid) and it costs them one mark a day, or 
twenty-four cents! But no child need feel that 
he must lose his vacation because his parents 
cannot afford that one mark a day. There are 
societies and individuals who see to it .that the 
money is forthcoming for the poorest children. 


It is a very democratic place, for children of 
all classes go there and live a communal 
friendly life together. Each school class with its 
teacher has a bungalow to itself. They are very 
crude shacks, the quarters of the soldiers, fur- 
nished with canvas cots, tables and chairs, and 
primitive stoves. The children gather the fire- 
wood and wash themselves and their clothes in 
the brook. They help with the cooking and 
have very simple meals. All day they live out- 
doors, with sports, work or hiking, and at 
night they build great bonfires and dance and 
sing around them. They come back to the city 
looking like wild Indians, but full of fresh 
energy to endure the confinement of city life. 

When I was approaching big cities of Ger- 
many on the train I saw the ragged outskirts, 
which in our cities are all too frequently un- 
sightly with dump heaps, waste, and tumble- 
down buildings, blossoming like the rose. 
There were acres of tiny garden plots separated 
by picket fences, full of the most vigorous, 
handsome flowers and vegetables. Each plot 
had at least an arbor, but more frequently a 
small shack neatly painted, curtains at its lit- 


tie window, and a gay little flag flying from' its 

These are the Little Garden Colonies or, as 
they are sometimes called, Laubencolonien, or 
Arbor Colonies. They are not a new thing in 

Germany in fact it was a good many years 
before the war that German cities first began 
allotting pieces of waste ground to poor people 
for a small sum. The idea has grown mightily 
of late years and now the government of every 
large city, or factory owners who want to put 


their waste land to good use, rent the plots to 
city workers for a very small price. In most 
places a man is assured of holding his plot for 
a certain number of years, but Cologne does 
better than that. The ground on which the gar- 
dens are laid out is dedicated to that purpose 
forever, so that the worker may go ahead and 
develop his garden in peace and security, know- 
ing that he will never have to leave it so long 
as he has a few pennies for the rent. 

By this wonderful scheme many poor fami- 
lies of a great city may have their miniature 
country estates. On Sundays and holidays the 
whole family goes out from the cramped rooms 
and noisy streets to work among the flowers 
and vegetables. Germans have a knack for 
growing things and they are never so happy 
as when they can work in the earth and see 
plants blossoming and fruiting as a result of 
their labors. From their tiny gardens they get 
fresh vegetables for the family and flowers to 
adorn their poor rooms. Sometimes when 
mothers are not working in factories they go 
out to the garden plot early in the morning, 
taking the baby and small children, and grub 


happily in the earth all day while the children 

One of these Garden Colonies is a pleasant 
sight late on a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday. 
The fathers are sitting in their shirtsleeves tak- 
ing the air, or they are tying up vines or dig- 
ging potatoes. In the pretty little shacks the 
mothers are spreading the neat white cloth 
without which no German could enjoy a meal, 
and preparing the supper over a primitive 
stove. The children race with their friends 
from garden to garden playing singing games 
and throwing balls, while the sun shines on 
the gay flowers and flourishing green things. 
The family is close to the earth which it loves 
and for the moment dark city rooms, factories, 
and poverty may be forgotten. 


/GROUPS of boys and girls on bicycles 
^J came riding along the road to the Berlin 
Stadium, past the handsome villas and park- 
like woods of the Grunewald suburb. At the 
imposing entrance to the Stadium they parked 
their bicycles, showed their tickets and went 
in. Beyond the entrance extended a great green 
oval of smooth turf encircled by a cinder run- 
ning track and a bicycle racing track. Like the 
sloping sides of a bowl the tiers of seats for 
spectators surrounded the oval. 


A few young men were doing a stint of trot- 
ting around the track. In the green center of 
the field groups of girls and men in bathing 
suits or running trunks were practicing jump- 
ing and playing medicine ball. The children 
whom I had seen entering the Stadium scat- 
tered to various sports, but the swimming pools 
were the favorite goal There were two splen- 
did great pools and here speed contests were 
going on under the direction of a teacher. I 
saw the healthy brown young things come 
from the dressing rooms, plunge in and have 
their sport, then spend the rest of their after- 
noon basking in the sun and doing sports on 
the field. Those who were doing the less stren- 
uous exercises, or resting between contests, 
wore very effective knitted training suits of 
loose blouse and full trousers in lovely blues,, 
reds, and greens. 

This beautiful great sport field is not the 
stadium of a university open only to students of 
that institution. No, this is run by the city of 
Berlin for the good of all the people. School 
children have season tickets at a very low price 
so that they may spend their free time on 


afternoons, Saturdays, or holidays, In all kinds 
of fine outdoor sport. There is a College of 
Physical Education maintained at the Stadium 
where students come as they would to a univer- 
sity, living at the place while they take the 
thorough courses which will fit them to be 
gymnastic teachers in schools or sport leaders, 
Besides the regular courses there are lectures 
on physical education, and classes in all kinds 
of sport, generally held on Saturdays or In the 
evenings, for the benefit of those who have to 
work all day. They have fencing and boxing 
clubs, and there is a great gymnasium with 
every kind of apparatus. Special athletic con- 
tests and exhibitions of gymnastic work are 
held on the field. 

There is a horse-racing track as well, with 
grandstands,, restaurant and very decorative 
surroundings. All about this great sport place 
are green fields and trees and plenty of fresh 
air and sunshine. It is hard to believe that the 
big city is just a short street car or subway ride 

There are other smaller stadiums on the out- 
skirts of the city, conveniently reached from 


the various districts, providing sports for those 
who cannot afford time or money to go far 
away. Tennis is a very popular game through- 
out Germany. In fact, as you approach any 
big city on the train you will see groups of 
tennis courts on the outskirts occupied by ac- 
tive players. Fussbdl as they call football, also 
holds its own among the sports. 

In the years since the war the English and 
American idea of sport has taken possession 
of the countries of the Continent, but perhaps 
nowhere so much as in Germany. They are 
sturdy active people and love to be outdoors. 
The young Germans of the North have gone 
mad over sport. It is their most absorbing 
occupation, and physical fitness their great 

Before the War there were elaborate gym- 
nastic systems in Germany, and Turnverein 
and Turnjests, as they called them, were al- 
ways popular. Back in 1848 there was an ath- 
letic leader called "Father Jahn," who spent 
his time organizing young Germans in clubs 
for gymnastic exercise. Then, too, every boy 
had to undergo compulsory military training 

Bavarians go out to ski in the mountains on 
holidays. A picnic lunch in the open air is ap- 
preciated after a morning of snow sports. 















of which physical fitness was a necessary part. 
But there was something rigid and inelastic 
about the old systems which did not develop 
free happy bodies,, and new Germany, released 
from the old regime, is making up for lost 

The governments of the German states and 
the city councils realize the importance of 
building up health and strength in their peo- 
ple after the hardships of war and revolution, 
so it is established by law that every city shall 
provide playgrounds and sport fields for the 

In Cologne, the city government has con- 
verted the ancient forts around the town into 
most beautiful parks. Besides this the city has 
bought acres pf land on the outskirts, which 
might have been disfigured by factories and 
slums, and created a whole system of parks and 
sport grounds, so that within easy reach of each 
section of the city there are tennis courts, ath- 
letic and football fields. They have a huge 
Stadium, larger than the one at Berlin, where 
great athletic meets are held. Besides the sport 
fields it has indoor and outdoor swimming 


pools, sun-baths, playgrounds for children, res- 
taurants and cafes. On the summer day when 
I visited it I saw mothers arriving by street car 
to spend the day, bringing all the children., 
bathing suits, and lunch. 

Perhaps the most marvelous people's park 
In the world is the one at Frankfurt-am-Main. 
It is called the People's Versailles because its 
design is something like the park of Versailles, 
with a long open vista and woods intersected 
with paths at the sides. This was a great mili- 
tary parade ground which was taken over by 
the city after the war. It lay in the midst of a 
tract of forest belonging to the city, so the 
whole space was used in designing this re- 
markable place. At the entrance are two big 
restaurant cafes with terraces where bands 
play while people enjoy their beer, ice cream 
or coffee. 

From the terrace one can look down a long 
vista and see sports of all kinds going on in a 
setting of green lawns. There is a great shallow 
wading pool for small children clad in bathing 
suits who tumble about in the water to their 
hearts 5 content. Beyond is a huge swimming 


pool with diving boards and seats for spec- 
tators. In rows of sandpits dozens of sunbath- 
ers He cooking contentedly. There are football 
fields and athletic grounds and a great stadium. 
The forest paths lead to playgrounds and 
amusement places. In one part of the wood a 
maze has been made a network of paths and 
little play gardens where children may be 
turned loose by their mothers to play safely. 
Since there is only one entrance to the maze 
many children may be left in charge of a single 
caretaker while their mothers enjoy a swim or 
a coffee party free from maternal worries. Like 
all parks in Germany the entrance fee for this 
paradise of play is small and the prices of food 
and drink are low, so that everybody may en- 
joy the place. It is only a short street car ride 
from the center of the city and thousands of 
people make it the goal of their holiday and 
week-end outings. 

Besides these beautiful great places for sport 
and amusement, cities and other organizations 
provide free breathing spaces for their poor 
children country homes where they go for 
vacations, and play parks on the outskirts of 


cities. In summer poor children of Berlin are 
taken out in bus loads every morning to these 
play parks. They play outdoors all day,, amus- 
ing themselves with swings, sandpiles, and 
wading pools., having games with teachers and 
sometimes little puppet shows. 

"Light, Air, and Sun" is the slogan o new 
Germany everywhere. In the country, too, you 
will see young sun-worshippers, clad in the 
fewest possible clothes, playing joyously. On 
village playgrounds and in country fields 
parties of boys wearing brief running trunks 
play ball and take exercises. Along the river 
banks brown young things in abbreviated 
bathing suits swim and play, paddle their slim 
canoes up the river, or lie basking in the grass 
on the shore. Their sun-tan does not come in 
bottles but is nature's own brand. On the banks 
of the Rhine there are countless swimming and 
sun-bath clubs with their bathing and boat 
houses,, and always a place set apart with can- 
vas chairs or inclined boards, for those who 
wish their daily sun-bake. 

The only seaside resorts Germany has are 
those on the Baltic Sea in the North, but there 


are many beautiful lakes throughout the coun- 
try which are utilized for swimming and boat- 
ing. At the lake resorts crowds of people in the 
gayest of bathing costumes enjoy water sports 
or sit in the garden cafes having food, drink 
and music. Although their city is surrounded 
with sandy plains the people of Berlin have 
varied 'and delightful water sports, for the 
river Havel and several lakes make a system 
of charming waterways set in the midst of pine 
woods. It seems as though all Berlin turned out 
to play at Nicholassee or Wannsee on week- 
ends or holidays, so great are the crowds on 
the electric trains. Some go by automobile too, 
but in Germany one does not see such swarms 
of cars as we see here. Germans have not yet 
adopted the idea that a motor car is necessary 
to happiness. On the roads going to the lake 
resorts you will see flocks of bicycles and many 
motorcycles, young men taking their girls on 
the saddle behind them or in a side-car. 

The boys and girls of Berlin save all their 
small earnings, and their birthday and Christ- 
mas money, to buy the light, slim paddle boats 
with which they can have so much fun on the 


lakes. When a holiday comes a party of friends 
with a few of these boats parked at Wannsee 
will go riding out on their bicycles with bath- 
ing suits and lunch. They camp under the 

great pines by the lake, get into their bathing 
suits and have a picnic party, and then out they 
go with the boats to sport on the lake. The blue 
waters are dotted with white sails, motor boats 
and canoes dart about, and everybody is having 


a grand time. Some may have come in automo- 
biles and may be enjoying dancing and food at 
the expensive cafes on the lake front,, but on 
the whole young Germans have a happy fac- 
ulty for having a good time in the simplest way 
and for very little money. 

When winter comes the enjoyment of out- 
doors goes on just the same. With its lakes and 
mountains, Germany is a wonderful country 
for winter sports. The waters which were so 
blue in the summer and so lively with boats 
and swimmers lie still and frozen, surrounded 
with snow-clad hills and pine forests. But the 
gayety is still there. Crowds of skaters dart 
about over the surface of the lakes, their sweat- 
ers and caps making brilliant spots of color 
against the whiteness. Shouts and laughter and 
the ring of skates echo in the clear air. The res- 
taurants and cafes of the lake resorts are as busy 
as in summer. Warm cosy places they are to 
come into after strenuous hours of skating. 
Waiters run about carrying plates of steaming 
sausage, beef, cabbage, and tall glasses of foam- 
ing beer. The music of a band or a few mu- 


sicians makes a pleasant accompaniment to the 
hearty enjoyment of food. 

Skating is universally enjoyed. Nearly every 
town has a convenient lake or stream near by, 

but if a natural skating rink is not available the 
gardens of cafes are often flooded and the so- 
ciability of the cafe with its music and food goes 
on as usual combined with winter exercise. 

The Bavarian Alps are every bit as fine as 
Switzerland for winter sports and to my mind 


the people and villages are more attractive than 
those of the more famous Swiss resorts. How 
brilliantly beautiful are the great glittering 
slopes,, the dark fir trees and craggy gray moun- 
tains capped with snow! Big hotels at various 
resorts provide a comfortable vacation life to 
those who want to spend money, and for sim- 
pler people there are the charming villages, 
each with a cosy Gasthaus or village inn. 

Everybody skis, and skill in ski-jumping is a 
usual thing. There are fine courses for ski-run- 
ning and jumping, and the contests excite the 
greatest interest Then after the sport everybody 
troops into one of those long low inn rooms, 
heated by a stout porcelain stove, and the ap- 
petites gained in the keen air are satisfied with 
good solid German food. 

Munich is so near the Bavarian Highlands 
that on winter week-ends everyone who can 
possibly manage it goes out to ski. Young peo- 
ple who have Saturday afternoon free from 
work and who have a few pennies to pay for 
a bunk in an overnight shelter go out for the 
night. They carry a blanket roll and simple 
food such as the inevitable wurst, or cold 


sausage, chocolate and bread. They sleep in one 
of the shelter huts established on the moun- 
tainsides and have a glorious time of sport and 
keen air. Other crowds of girls and boys begin 
to assemble at the railway station as early as 
four o'clock on Sunday morning and presently 
the place is crowded with tall skis, like a wood. 
Not only the young go, but mothers and fathers 
and other grown-ups. It doesn't matter whether 
they are stout and awkward or active and skil- 
ful, everyone has a good time wallowing or 
skimming over the snow on skis, and devour- 
ing picnic lunches with the addition of coffee 
or beer at a Gasthaus. At night they pile mer- 
rily into the third-class trains to return to the 
city. Skis are laid across the racks above the 
seats and piled up in the comers with melting 
snow dripping from them, but nobody minds. 
Everyone is gay and tingling from the cold air 
and they sing and chatter all the way home. 

Young Germans, of course, go in for sport 
and outdoor activity for the fun to be had out 
of it, like any young things, but back of the 
fun is a deeper intention. The old Greek ideal 
of balanced perfection, the healthy mind in the 


healthy body, has taken root In new Germany 
and this balanced human being they call der 
ncuer Mensck, the New Man. Whether or not 
the young people themselves seriously adopt 
this ideal they are practicing it in various 
schools of gymnastics and the dance, organ- 
ized for the purpose of training towards bodily 
and mental perfection* There are several 
schools devoted to gymnastics or physical cul- 
ture with some differences of method. The 
Bode School of Physical Culture and the Anna 
Herman School in Berlin, and the Loheland 
School in Fulda, all achieve the same end 
through different theories. They make a thor- 
ough study of the organism of the body and 
develop its possibilities through exercise and ac- 
tivities, so that the perfected instrument may 
be used to express ideas and the rhythms of 
music. This is very like the dance schools, of 
course, only that in the physical culture schools 
the chief emphasis is laid on gymnastic exer- 
cise. I have seen photographs of Loheland stu- 
dents, leaping naked figures which were like 
Greek statues. 
Years ago before the war, Isadora Duncan 


and her sister Elisabeth, founded a school at 
Grunewald-Berlin. They took children who 
were orphans or whose families could not take 
care of them, and brought them up in the 
school with a well-rounded education, physical 
and mental. They were all trained in Isadora's 
beautiful system of the dance. The six lovely 
girls who danced with Isadora Duncan for 
some years were the first fruits of this school. 
After Isadora's death they went into various 
occupations, some of them married, and sev- 
eral conduct schools of their own. 

Isadora was too busy dancing in different 
countries to stay very long with the school, but 
her sister built it up and kept it going against 
all odds. During the war the school came to 
America and continued its work until 1920, 
when they all went back to Germany. There 
they endured many troubles before they were 
finally established in the present permanent 
home, Schloss Klessheim Salzburg. In this 
former palace the school has a splendid home 
with green lawns for their dancing in a setting 
of great trees. The regular school work is sup- 
plemented by education in many arts as well 


as the dance. It is still a principle of the school 
to take children who cannot be well cared for 
and bring them up to a beautiful life. 

The great teacher Rudolph von Laban has 
his school of the dance at Bayreuth. One of 
the great principles of his work is the training 
of large groups of dancers to express ideas and 
emotions. It was he who was the teacher of 
Mary Wigman. 

Mary Wigman and her work express more 
fully than any other leader of the dance the 
spirit of youth in Germany today its vigor, 
vitality,, and idealism. She grew with them dur- 
ing the hard years after the war when she was 
developing her own art and trying to express 
it for the public. Even before she had gained 
success for her original and powerful dancing 
young people gathered around her, recogniz- 
ing that she represented their spirit, that the 
things she expressed were the things they 
longed to say. The terrible depression that 
hung over Germany in those years had created 
despair in the young and they were saying 
"What's the use?" about life. Mary Wigman 
understood this and she undertook to show 


them that they could find an outlet for their 
thoughts and feelings through the dance, and 
that with beautifully trained bodies they would 
be armed to resist the hardships of life. 

She started a school in Dresden and she says 
herself of those years that they were a happy 
time although they were all poor and worked 
very hard,, for they were like a big family. 
Now the school is large and successful and 
there are branches in various cities. It is not 
only those with money who may enjoy this 
beautiful work, but there are classes for work- 
ing people at night and for workers' children. 

There is a Wigman School at Berlin, owned 
and directed by Margarete Wallmann, a 
former pupil of Mary Wigman. Miss Wall- 
mann is a charming person and fine dancer 
herself. One of the interesting things she does 
is to give dance talks to children on the radio. 
She has a group of children around her to 
whom she tells a story which may be danced, 
the things she tells suggesting the actions to 
express them. While the children around her 
are dancing the story, others listening in are 
dancing too, making the gestures which her 


words suggest. Sometimes when she corrects a 
move o one of her group a child far-away may 
be making the same mistake, and hearing what 
she says., corrects himself. This radio dance was 
so real to one little boy who was thus corrected 
over the air that he said to his mother, "Oh, 
Mother, is she looking at me?" Children write 
her from all over Germany to discuss the 
dances and to send her stories they have writ- 
ten which they hope can be danced. 

But the place to learn from Mary Wigman 
herself is in Dresden. Students come to her 
school as they would to a university a full- 
time course of three or four years. It is a very 
different thing from "taking up" dancing for 
a winter perhaps, for aesthetic enjoyment. This 
is a training which develops the whole person 
as well as teaching the body to dance, and any 
girl who has experienced it must thereby be a 
finer human being. When students have com- 
pleted her course they are prepared to be teach- 
ers of "the dance, and some very talented ones 
are ready to become professional dancers. Miss 
Wigman has many American students, and 
the aim" of the school is not only to produce 


teachers and stage dancers, but to enrich the 
life of any girl who undergoes this training of 
body, mind and emotion. 

Miss Wigman studies her pupils very care- 
fully,, learning by the actions of their bodies a 
great deal of what is going on in their minds. 
Then she helps them to set free what is shut 
up inside, so that they may really express them- 
selves through their bodies. They must first 
become little egotists, she says, and then after- 
wards they must learn to live with the world 
and adjust themselves to other people. So she 
comes to her group work. In the group a 
theme or idea is to be developed. Each one 
dances it as she feels it, but then they find that 
in order really to express the idea they must 
work as one, so they learn to cooperate. 

The work of Miss Wigman's pupils is full 
of freedom, vitality and power. Percussion in- 
struments, drums and gongs are used, and the 
strong beating vibrations seem to set free in the 
body very primitive rhythms. Miss Wigman 
dancing is like a primeval earth creature. In 
her groups the bodies of the dancers are like 
instruments in an orchestra playing together to 
produce an idea and an emotion. 

Courtesy Wigman Schule, Berlin 

Joy of life is well expressed by .these young 
dancers of the Wigman School in. Berlin. Below, 
students of a school for physical training exer- 
cise in the snow. 


TN ADDITION to sports which German 
-*** youth pursues with a view to building up 
skilful and vigorous bodies, there are other 
forms of entertainment which they follow for 
amusement only. 

On Saturday afternoons in summer the big 
Zoological Gardens for which Germany is 
famous are a gay sight. In Berlin crowds of 
grown-up people and children pass under the 
benign stare of stone elephants as they pay their 
mark and a half admission to an afternoon of 



joy. Young Hansi and Trada urge their stout 
kind mother on to their favorite animal houses, 
crying, "Oh, Mutti, see how funny the camels 
are today/ 5 or, "Please let's see the chimpanzees 
eat their supper." The animals march around 
in big shady yards and their houses are built 
to look like the countries from which they 
come. For instance, the buffalos have a log 
house ornamented with totem poles, and the 
camels live in an Oriental building that looks 
like a mosque. The monkey house has a tropi- 
cal garden to make them feel at home and of 
course it is a favorite place with all the chil- 
dren. Every Saturday Hansi and Truda wait 
to see the two big chimpanzees sit at their 
table and eat porridge neatly from soup plates. 
The feeding of the big animals is another joy. 
There are tiers of seats along one side of the 
house so that people may sit and watch the 
lions, tigers, and leopards growling over their 
big hunks of raw meat. 

The Berlin Zoo is a delightful place with its 
flower beds and shady walks, but just beyond 
the animals and birds is an even lovelier garden 


of green lawns and huge trees under which" 
acres of little tables covered with flowered 
cloths are set The tables are crowded with peo- 
ple and waiters run busily about carrying trays 
of coffee, beer, and cakes. In a central place a 
fine military band plays lively tunes which are 
relayed by radio to distant clusters of tables. In 
other spots under the trees dance orchestras are 
playing and people are dancing on prepared 

When Hansi and Truda have visited all 
their pets, Mutti, which is the German child's 
pet name for mother, brings them to this gay 
place and they settle down at a table where 
they can hear the music and where the chil- 
dren can watch the fat, pompous conductor 
turn around and give his audience a stiff mili- 
tary bow in response to applause. When the 
clapping is particularly lively he gives the audi- 
ence a stirring military march. Mother orders 
coffee for herself and ice cream for the chil- 
dren, and they all choose from a large tray 
delectable pastries well ornamented with 
whipped cream. Friends join them and they 
sit for an hour or two, chatting and listening 


to die band. Nobody thinks it necessary to or- 
der a second round of food and no waiter 
hovers in the background, mutely suggesting 
that it is time for them to move on. 

At supper time portly, good-natured father 
arrives. Then they order beer and mother 
brings out from her capacious bag a picnic 
supper of bread and cold sausage, perhaps a 
hunk of cheese and some pickles. They go 
right on enjoying the people, the music, the 
meeting with friends, for some hours more, 
and they have only spent a few marks. 

The most famous German Zoo is Hagen- 
beck's at Hamburg, where the animals live 
very freely in settings as nearly as possible like 
their natural habitats. This idea has been copied 
in various places, in Nuremberg for example. 
The Zoological Gardens there are in a delight- 
ful wooded park with pretty lakes peopled by 
all sorts of water fowl Shy deer peer at you 
from the groves and brilliant parrots sit on 
their perches beside the walk, squawking and 
making friends with passing children. Of 
course there is a garden cafe with good music 
and food such as one always finds in connec- 


tion with a Zoo in Germany, and an amuse- 
ment park as well, with water sports and 

Beautiful expensive cafes with stunning 
modernistic decorations, jazz orchestras and 
good dance floors, are common in big cities 
like Hamburg and Berlin. You would not be 
likely, however, to see boys and girls in their 
'teens having coffee parties and dancing in 
these places by themselves. They would be ac- 
companied by mothers and aunts. For when it 
comes to such city amusements as dancing and 
movies the young people do not run around 
together in parties of their own nearly so much 
as they do in our country. 

The family group is very, close in Germany 
and everywhere you will find mothers and 
fathers enjoying outings with their children. 
The sociable gathering for afternoon coffee or 
beer is universal. No town so small that it has 
not at least one cafe garden where people may 
sit under the trees on summer afternoons, hav- 
ing their refreshments and listening to the or- 
chestra, for music and food are real recreations 
to Germans. Large, placid mothers arrive, es- 


corting their own children and perhaps some 
young friends demure little girls with blond 
pigtails, and serious, well-mannered boys In 
tight neat suits and bright-colored school caps. 
Or It may be that a stout papa is giving an 
afternoon treat to his small daughters. There 
are parties of women, too, and of chattering 
girl friends, absorbing quantities of whipped 
cream with their coffee and pastries. 

In our country, if we want to meet for a 
sociable treat like this we must gather around 
a drug store soda fountain, or perhaps in a 
candy shop or tea room. We have nothing to 
compare with these charming leafy gardens, 
which are not swanky places for the rich, but 
pleasure grounds for all the people. 

It must be true that walking is one of young 
Germany's chief amusements since they make 
so many of their outings and parties on foot. 
I have seen them going out from small towns 
on Sunday afternoons, girls and their beaux in 
their best clothes, swinging along the country 
road, bareheaded and chattering. They don't 
mind walking several miles for they know they 
will find rest and refreshment by the roadside. 


Sooner or later a country Gasthaus or beer 
garden will turn up. There will be a garden 
with vine-covered arbors where they can have 
beer or coffee, and a bowling alley in which 
the young men can show off their skill at bowls 
before the admiring eyes of their girls. 

They have a great deal of fun with bicycles 
too. In Munich, where practically everyone 
sails around on a wheel, there are bicycle clubs 
of young people,, organized for picnic parties 
in the country. Early on Sunday morning they 
ride through the quiet streets, girls and boys 
in holiday attire, with bathing suits and lunches 
strapped to the saddle. Germans love to give a 
little ceremony and flourish to their expeditions, 
and so these bicycle clubs have each their band 
of musicians. Managing their big brass horns 
and trumpets with the most nonchalant ease, 
their notes fastened to the handlebars, they go 
wheeling and tootling along at the head of the 
procession. The club rides out to some beauti- 
ful country spot by a lake, and everybody has 
a thoroughly good holiday with bathing, pic- 
nicking, and music. 

The German family, as I have said, is very 


united, and formerly boys and girls got most 
of their amusement from parties at home. Gen- 
erally each member of the family played some 
instrument and they had little family concerts 
of playing and singing. When young friends 
came in to visit they sometimes brought a vio- 
lin or other instrument and joined the concert, 
or Mutti played the piano for them and they 

Of course in the big towns the many inter- 
ests of modern life are breaking up the con- 
centrated family circle, though young people 
still have most of their dancing parties at home, 
and young Germans do love to dance! The 
victrola and jazz are naturally taking the place 
of Mutti's piano playing, but she still plays for 
the children to sing, and they are not bored 
by it. 

The portable phonograph, however, is high 
in favor with city youth. At the people's beach 
of Nicholassee outside Berlin, tanned young 
creatures in beach pajamas and bathing trunks 
sprawl in the sand while one of these useful 
instruments cheerfully grinds out jazz for their 
amusement. This free and easy beach fun is 


something comparatively new in Germany, as, 
in fact, it is in our country. But formerly in 
Germany people undressed in bathing ma- 
chines pushed into the water and emerged very 
fully clad to bathe demurely, girls and men 
separately. After the revolution all the radical 
youth said, "Away with this stupid conven- 
tionality. We want sun and air on our bodies, 
and real fun in the water." So they came out 
to NIcholassee and Wannsee and sported mer- 
rily while the more conventional looked on 
with horror. But they too were soon caught by 
the fun of it, and now everyone plays with the 
utmost freedom. Nicholassee is the same kind 
of a people's beach as our Coney Island, but 
the German idea of an amusement place is 
quite different from ours. It seems to be enough 
for them to have a cafe, ping pong parlors, 
and a dance pavilion, in addition to sun, sand, 
and water. There are no scenic railways, loop- 
the-loops, or other breath-taking or comical en- 
tertainments. There may be amusement parks 
like ours somewhere in Germany, but I have 
not seen them. 
The number of clubs to which young people 


belong shows how strong, even in the young, 
is the German love of being organized. Besides 
the political youth groups there are all sorts of 
clubs for recreation or education. Some get to- 
gether for singing and folk dancing, and this 
generation is profiting by the work of the 
Wmdervogel in collecting the lovely old music 
of Germany. There is now a collection of folk 
songs called the "Guitar Song Book," and an- 
other book of interesting old dance games and 
songs called "Gay Music." Folk dancing is a 
source of great enjoyment in these clubs and 
the Germans have made friends with folk 
dancing groups in England, where this old art 
is as popular as it is in Germany. 

Others get together to perform plays. Some 
years ago a group of young workers in the 
North began hunting out the medieval mys- 
tery plays and giving them for the entertain- 
ment of themselves and their friends. They 
found some lovely old fairy tale plays as well. 
The work of this Geestlander Dancing Circle 
became very popular and later their plays were 
written out and published so that other groups 
could use them. There are Mysteries of the 


Crib of the Infant Jesus for Christmas, and 
Resurrection and Ascension plays, as well as 
romantic fairy tales. These plays appeal to some 
groups of young people with strong religious 
or artistic feeling, while others prefer lighter 
and more modern sketches, and still others 
groups of young radicals like to write and 
perform serious plays full of theories about the 
rights of man. 

Young people who have gone through ele- 
mentary school together form social clubs to 
keep up connection with their friends and 
school Their great ambition is to have a home 
of their own, and they put together all their 
pennies to rent a room for a club house where 
they can have books and magazines, for young 
Germans are great readers, and a place for so- 
cial gatherings. They like to get together for 
evenings of discussion or of singing and danc- 
ing. In many of the clubs the boys and girls 
make their own music, for there are sure to be 
some members who play various instruments, 
and the young people of the Youth Movement 
in particular much prefer the music of their 


own creation to the performance of a phono- 

The club room takes care of their free time 
in town, but they are not satisfied until they 
have managed to acquire some small shack in 
the country where they can go for week-end 
walks and parties. Every club has a banner, for 
young Germans love to have a symbol., and 
when they go on excursions they make a cere- 
mony of it,, marching in a band with the ban- 
ner carried at the head. 

In a country like Germany the entertain- 
ments of village children are quite different 
from those of the towns. The great joy of these 
country children is a market, and that doesn't 
mean just buying and selling, as it would with 
us. That is the central idea of the affair, but it 
is a time when the country people who come 
into the village to sell their animals., fruit, vege- 
tables, or other produce, want to have a good 
time and spend some of the money they have 
just made. Knowing this, all sorts of traveling 
shows and little merchants turn up to reap the 
profits and entertain the people. All around the 
market place little booths are set up, offering 


silly trinkets and jewelry, ribbons and laces,, 
sausages, sticky buns and fried cakes,, and long 
sticks of candy. A merry-go-round lures the 
children with its tinkling tunes, and little tents 
advertising bearded ladies, mermaids, clowns 
or performing animals, tempt the pennies from 
the pockets of young and old. 

Sometimes a Kaspcrk theater arrives in time 
for the market fair. Kasperlc is the German 
Punch, and the little puppet show travels from 
village to village as the Punch and Judy does 
in England, or the Guignols in France. The 
theater is a wooden booth with a small stage 
and a place behind where the showman is con- 
cealed. These German actors have wooden 
heads carved and painted with caricature faces. 
Two fingers of the showman's hand fit into the 
head, while the puppet's costume falls over his 
hand, which manipulates the small actor in his 
tiny stage. While one showman from his hid- 
ing place makes the puppets perform, the other 
recites their lines in dramatic tones. Kaspcrle 
has several fellow-actors. There is his grand- 
mother who bosses him around, the Devil and 
God, the Policeman who beats him over the 


head, a Crocodile for him to kill, and a Prin- 
cess whom he marries in the end. The puppets 
have a repertory of plays full of comic actions 
and quaint wisecracks. The children adore the 
characters and know all the plays by heart. 

Turning from Kasperle to bigger theaters, 
the young people of large towns may enjoy 
very good variety shows like our big circuses,, 
with fine trapeze artists and acrobats as well as 
other circus acts. And what about the movies? 
We all know what good pictures and film ac- 
tors there are in Germany their Emil Jan- 
nings and Marlene Dietrich have become idols 
of the film fans in our country as well as their 
own but of course they have plenty of trashy 
pictures too, American films are very popular. 
German children love the Kino but one does 
not see them going continually to the movies, 
good, bad, or indifferent. In fact, young peo- 
ple under eighteen are not allowed in the 
theaters to see sensational or risque pictures, 
and children under twelve may not go to the 
Kino after eight at night without an adult. 
German picture houses are not open until seven 
in the evening, but on Saturdays and Sundays 


programs begin at five. The young people of 
the Youth Movement are rather scornful of the 
ordinary cinema. They have their own pictures 
given in their clubs or in schools. They see 
many interesting and educational plays, but 
nothing trashy or cheap is given. 

Germans have always been very fond of the 
theater and considered play-going as impor- 
tant in their lives as books and music. It is an 
old tradition, however, to consider the theater 
an educational affair. Shakespeare is played 
continually as well as their own Schiller and 
Goethe and their serious modem dramatists. 
Young people go to such plays with the great- 
est interest. Everyone who can afford it goes to 
the opera, which is not high-priced in Ger- 
many, and most big towns have an opera 
house. No opera is too long to hold a German's 
interest, but he does not intend to faint with 
hunger during the hours of a Wagnerian per- 
formance. After the first act one will see con- 
ventional-looking people bring out packets of 
sausage and bread, cheese, or bars of chocolate, 
and munch them serenely. There is a long in- 
termission in the middle of the performance 


when everyone goes out to find refreshment at 
a neighboring beer garden. 

In recent years the Berlin theaters have 
"gone American 55 to a certain extent and many 
American plays have a season there. They have 
taken up the idea of revues with enthusiasm, 
and musical shows are just about as riotous and 
gay as in New York, but Berlin is different 
from most German cities. 

The producers and actors of the German 
theater have always considered the stage pri- 
marily an artistic and creative profession and 
secondarily a money-making affair. At the 
present time they are influenced by American 
methods, but still the standard maintained is 
very high. There are two theaters in Berlin de- 
voted to producing the best plays in the most 
interesting manner. One is the famous Max 
Rheinhart Theater, where many fascinating ex- 
periments in stage setting and lighting are 
worked out. The Vol^sb&hnc is a people's 
theater, standing in a workman's quarter, with 
a huge membership of those of all classes who 
wish to see fine plays at low prices. It grew 
from small clubs and now there are two com- 


panics playing during the season. The size of 
the theater,, its lighting and mechanical equip- 
ment are without equal. They give both old 
and modern plays which come up to their high 
standard of quality. 

Germans are, it is true, rather serious- 
minded folk, and they take their amusements 
quietly, yet they know how to play in the 
truest sense of the word. Nowhere else have I 
found men and women, boys and girls, enjoy- 
ing themselves so thoroughly, so simply, and 
so cheaply. 


Christmas tree, the Weinachtsbaum, 
glittering with light and beauty, is a gift 
to the world from Germany. The idea of this 
living tree comes down through the ages from 
the myths of the old Teutonic gods who be- 
lieved in a tree of life called Yggdrasill. Christ- 
mas has been a festival of romance and glamour 
in Germany and many charming customs and 
songs have grown up about it. Saint Nicholas 
has his birthday in Germany on December 



sixth and the Yuletide festival really begins 

It used to be the custom for men to go from 
house to house on the eve of the day, imper- 
sonating Saint Nick and carrying with them a 
bundle of birch rods. They inquired how the- 
children had behaved and whether they needed 
a spanking with the rods or were deserving of 
gifts. In some parts of the country this cere- 
mony still continues and in the shops little bun- 
dles of rods are sold either of real birches or 
made of candy. But in Germany Saint Nick 
does his officiating before Christmas and on 
the day itself it is the Weinachtsmann or the 
Christfynd who comes bringing gifts. 

Let us see what Christmas is like in the old 
town of Frankfurt. For days before the ranks 
of fir trees outside the shops have made the 
streets like an aromatically scented forest, for 
every family in Germany from the highest to 
the lowest has a Christmas tree. Now, on 
Christmas Eve, there are still a few left and 
the quays along the river are piled with fra- 
grant boughs. As people make their way to- 
wards the market place the booming of the 


cathedral bell fills the air. The market place is 
filled with a happy friendly crowd admiring 
the great lighted tree that stands in the center. 
A stream of people passes in and out o the 
grand old Rathaus^ for within is the com- 
munity Christmas tree from which every poor 
person receives a gift of food or clothes or some 
other useful thing. From the market place the 
people go up through the narrow cobbled 
streets between projecting old houses to the 
cathedral In its great shadowy aisles every- 
thing is hushed and reverent. The choir sings 
the beautiful old hymn, "Stille Nacht, Heilige 
Nacht/* as the people pass up to the front of 
the church to look at the creche, the scene of 
the Nativity with its charming little figures and 
animals assembled around the manger of the 
Infant Jesus. 

After the ceremony at the cathedral every- 
body goes home. By six o'clock the streets are 
deserted for the home festival has begun. In 
Germany Christmas Eve is the high point of 
the celebration. The tree which mother has 
trimmed and which is hidden behind the closed 
doors of the parlor, is revealed to the eager 


children. The family assembles before the door 
which Is thrown open with a flourish to show 
the shining vision of the tree which quite often 
is trimmed all in silver With white candles, and 
Is exquisitely frosty and delicate. 

Mother sits at the piano and plays "Stille 
Nacht" for them all to sing together. Then 
comes the gift giving! The presents are assem- 
bled on little tables, one for each member of 
the family. Under the tree stands the little 
home creche, with figures of the shepherds and 
wise men around the manger. Some of the 
children have composed poems for their father 
and mother and have carefully printed them 
out with decorations. Others have learned 
pieces at school to recite for a surprise for their 
parents. Besides the presents the most delight- 
ful Christmas goodies are piled on little tables; 
nuts and Icb^uchen (those glazed hearts and 
figures of honey cake decorated with greetings 
in white icing); the round hard spicy cakes 
called pfefferfachen, and marzipan, the al- 
mond paste which comes in so many fascinat- 
ing shapes the realistic fruits and vegetables, 
sausages and roasts of meat, and charming lit- 


tie figures. The quaint toys made at Nurem- 
berg add a great deal to the joy of a Christmas 

Christmas day itself is a time of family re- 
union or of visiting among friends, and the 
two days following are also sociable visiting 

In recent years the children in their 'teens 
who belong to youth groups, have broken 
away somewhat from the close family celebra- 
tion. They have the tree and gift giving at 
home on Christmas Eve, to be sure, but on 
Christmas Day they make their own holiday. 
They believe that the Christmas festival is a 
carrying on of the mid-winter celebration made 
by their sun-worshiping ancestors at the time 
when the sun turned to come back to them 
after the dark cold of winter. The sun was their 
god,, the life-giving warmth and light on which 
they depended for existence, so the men of the 
tribes gathered around great bonfires, danced 
their ceremonial dance, and prayed their god to 
return to them. 

Now these young Teutons gather with their 
friends and hike out into the snowy country 


on Christmas Day. At night they build a great 
fire In memory of their ancestors' celebration. 
While the flames leap up against the glittering 
stars of the winter night they dance around it 
singing old songs. Afterwards they seek shelter 
for the night either in a Jugendherberge, a vil- 
lage inn, or perhaps in the house of a friendly 
farmer. This celebration is called the Winter- 
sonncnwende^ the turning of the winter sun. 

Another Christmas merrymaking,, the YulJ^ 
lapp, Is a very old idea. It Is an occasion for 
jolly fun and playing friendly jokes on one an- 
other. The boys and girls meet in their club 
room or schoolhouse bringing packages heaps 
of them some with names written on them, 
some without. Sometimes, but not always, 
these are piled up around a little Christmas 
tree. First they sing some songs accompanied 
by lutes or mandolins, and recite a few Christ- 
mas stories or poems. Then they light the can- 
dles on the tree and go for the packages ! Such 
a hubbub there is of laughter and shrieks over 
the jokes, the "slams," and foolish rhymes. 
There are real presents, too, exchanged be- 
tween friends; books, trinkets, little things such 


as pretty baskets filled with bonbons or Christ- 
mas nuts and cakes, or silly little animals. 
When they have exhausted the labeled pack- 
ages they draw lots for the anonymous ones 
and get more fun out of that. The party fin- 
ishes off with more singing and rollicking 
round dances. 

In various parts of Germany there are 
charming local customs, such as the lighted 
candles placed in the windows in Bavaria on 
Christinas Eve to guide the Christchild as he 
comes bearing gifts. Flowering plants are fa- 
vorite gifts in some places, and the houses are 
decorated with flowers as well as evergreens. 
In northern Germany the village children have 
a custom very like the old English wassailing, 
called the Rumpelpott. They dress up in funny 
old rags and go from house to house carrying 
earthen pots with pieces of sausage skin 
stretched over the tops on which they beat with 
sticks, making a tremendous racket. They 
chant curious little songs begging for gifts. One 
of the songs asks the householder not to cut the 
tail of the cat too short meaning, "Don't give 
us too little!" 


New Year's Eve or Sylvester's Eve, as It is 
called, Is as merry a night in Germany as it is 
with. us. There are many home parties and the. 
houses are filled with gay groups of friends 
conversing or dancing or gathering around the 
piano for songs. About eleven o'clock a special 
hot punch is served with doughnuts. As the 
clock strikes twelve, everyone rushes out of the 
house crying Prosit Neujakr and sets off fire- 
works in the street, for this Is one of the chief 
nights for illuminations. Then they run from 
house to house wishing their friends a Happy 
New Year, stopping now and then to admire 
the fireworks rising over the housetops. After 
they return to the house comes the ceremony 
of the melting of lead favors, which are 
dropped Into cold water to harden into various 
shapes by which people tell each other's for- 
tunes. Then the dancing and merrymaking 
goes on until the small hours of the morning. 

Not only do we owe to Germany many of 
the pretty customs of Christmas time but the 
legend of the Easter hare who brings gifts of 
eggs to good children comes from this country. 
The Easter bunny is a very important person 


to German children and he is most skilful in 
hiding his nests. The hunt for his fascinating 
eggs is elaborate and exciting. If the weather 
permits the eggs are hidden in the garden, but 
otherwise the unexpected comers of the house 
will provide nests of brilliantly colored and 
entrancing eggs. Some of them are covered 
with satin or gay papers and contain real pres- 
ents; others are filled with candy,, and some are 
just hen's eggs gayly painted. Many little rab- 
bits filled with candy mount guard over the 
nests. When the hunt is finished each child has 
a glowing heap of Easter treasures. All sorts of 
fake eggs filled with cotton or powder or just 
empty shells turn up at the breakfast table to 
provide jokes. 

That is the small child's Easter. Everyone 
else celebrates the return of spring by getting 
out into the country together and again by 
lighting fires. Outside the towns we look 
around and see a spring bonfire blazing on 
every hilltop. Easter is a great hiking time for 
young workers, for nearly everyone, even fac- 
tory hands, gets a four day holiday from Good 
Friday through Easter Monday. And do they 


make for the country, these nature lovers ! Pack 
on back they go tramping out in merry bands, 
to come back refreshed for their jobs after four 
days of wandering. 

Everywhere in Europe, May Day is the great 
worker's festival a day for parades and 
speeches. In Germany the Socialists and Com- 
munists, the unions and workers' societies, all 
have processions and celebrations. Whole fami- 
lies are on the march, many of the girls with 
flowers in their hair, and everyone decorated 
with red ribbons. Of course the day ends with 
dancing, singing and speech-making. 

Spring must be celebrated again in May 
when the leaves and blossoms are really out, 
and so Ascension Day in some parts of the 
country is considered an outdoor festival, while 
in other parts they take Pentecost for a holiday. 
In the north it is a great occasion for the men's 
singing clubs and nature societies to get out to 
the country. Sometimes they march on foot but 
more often they ride out in big wagons deco- 
rated with boughs of young greenery. Some- 
times they carry along a keg of beer but the 
piece de resistance is a huge ham borne aloft 


on two sticks. In the neighborhood of Berlin, 
Pentecost is a holiday on which whole families 
get up at four or five in the morning and go 
out to some country Inn where they will listen 
to band concerts, while they consume hearty 
breakfasts moistened with plenty of beer. The 
rest of the day is spent wandering over the 
countryside, enjoying the flowering fruit trees, 
the green fields and brooks, picking flowers 
and resting at wayside beer gardens until night- 
fall calls them all home. 

At Whitsuntide there are two days of vaca- 
tion so that families have a chance to enjoy the 
country at the fresh beginning of summer. In 
the towns pushcarts go through the streets sell- 
ing green boughs of young birch trees with 
which people decorate their homes in honor of 
summer, but if they can possibly escape to have 
their holiday in the country they prefer that to 
any town celebration. 

But for the young people. Midsummer 
Night or Sommersonnenwcndc is a great joy- 
ous welcome to summer. It is a sun-worship- 
pers' festival like the one at Christmas, but 
now they celebrate the height of the sun- 

The boys sing around ttelr campfire. 


god's power. Then, too, it Is the mystic night 
when fairies are abroad. All over the country 
the boys and girls march out in troops and 
bands to some field or hill selected by their 
group. Those who are free in the afternoon go 
ahead to the gathering place and begin col- 
lecting firewood for the bonfire. Others arrive 
at evening after their work is finished and 
everyone adds to the heap of brushwood., sticks 
and logs until they have a mighty pile. Then 
they have a picnic supper, and when the soft 
summer darkness comes they light the bonfire, 
the Johannisjeuer. While the flames shoot up 
to the sky they sit and sing to their lutes and 
guitars. Then they make a ring-around-a-rosy 
and whirl round the fire until they are dizzy. 
There are folk dances and rhythmic dances in 
the firelight, and at last, when late in the night 
the fire is reduced to glowing embers, the leap- 
ing contest begins. Each one must see how far 
he can leap over the fire and how high he can 
spring. Boys and girls run at the fire in a group 
and the two who manage to leap over it to- 
gether will stay together, so they say! 
In North German towns on soft summer 


evenings, children appear in the street by twos 
and threes carrying Chinese lanterns bobbing 
on long sticks. The word spreads that a lantern 
procession is organizing and more children 
gather until there are twenty or thirty, all with 
their lanterns, square, oblong or round, glow- 
ing like orange and yellow moons in the dusk. 
They march gaily through the quiet streets 
singing quaint little songs, some of which be- 
long to the lantern ceremony. The favorite one 
is the following: 

"Laterne, Laterne, 
Sonne, Mond und Sterne, 
bvenne auf mein Licht 
aber um meine liebe Laterne nichtl 
Laterne, Laterne!' 

As long as the candles burn they walk and 
sing, and then their mothers call them home to 

Most of the holidays which I have been de- 
scribing are celebrated throughout the coun- 
try, but there are several local affairs of great 
interest later in the year. At Munich they have 


in the Autumn the October wiese or October 
Festival, which lasts for nearly a month. On 
the huge meadow outside the town called the 
Theresienwiese a whole colony of tents springs 
up. Some of them are large enough to hold a 
thousand people, all gathered together for the 
purpose of drinking the good Bavarian beer! 
They have feasts like the old-time barbecues of 
this country roasting whole oxen, pigs and 
chickens over open fires. There are rows of 
booths selling trinkets and all sorts of mer- 
chandise, others where crowds gather around 
to try their luck at games of chance. There are 
merry-go-rounds for the children and dancing 
for everyone, all the time. It is one grand riot 
for young and old in Munich. The same sort 
of thing occurs at Hamburg in December a 
very ancient market fair called the Hamburg 
Dom. Here again are booths and dancing, buy- 
ing and selling and fun for everyone. 

Small children in Germany have an enter- 
tainment which would seem curious to us since 
it is held in a beer garden! It has nothing to 
do with the beer however. In small towns and 
villages the beer houses frequently have large 


shady gardens attached to them and every once 
In awhile the proprietor of one of them decides 
to give a Kinderjest. The children come from 
the whole neighborhood, having wheedled the 
fifty pfennig fee from their mothers. They 
come in costume every sort of fancy dress 
which they can concoct and they choose a lit- 
tle queen and dress her up with crown and 
scepter. She is the center of their games and 
plays and dances under the trees of the garden. 
Sometimes a Kaspcrk theater arrives in the vil- 
lage just in time to give them a fine show in 
the beer garden. The mothers have furnished 
them with sandwiches and cake, they buy 
coffee or milk from the waiters and sit at the 
tables having their afternoon party just like the 

At twilight comes the best part of the fes- 
tival, when the proprietor hands out gay paper 
lanterns which they may take home. These are 
lighted and the lantern procession begins. 
Round the beer garden they go and then out 
on the street towards home, singing, their faces 
alight from the glow of their lanterns. Big sis- 
ters march beside the small youngsters of three 


or four who are solemnly holding aloft their 
bobbing lanterns. The day ends in perfect joy 
unless some of the fragile globes catch fire and 
bum up, to the grief of their small owners. 

When Germany was an Empire the Kaiser's 
birthday was a national festival, something like 
our Fourth of July. It was a day for fireworks, 
parades and band concerts and the houses were 
decorated with banners. In Berlin particularly 
it was an exciting day, for they could pay him 
personal honor, and see him riding through 
the streets responding to the cheers of the peo- 
ple. Now they celebrate the day when the con- 
stitution of the Republic was adopted, but it 
has none of the glamour of a royal birthday. 
It is a holiday for everyone and there are 
speeches and parades, but after all it is rather 
a tame affair. Many people in Germany are 
not very enthusiastic about the Republic, and 
were so attached to the old red-and-black flag 
that the new Republic flag, red-black-and-gold, 
seems like a step-flag to them. As one German 
woman said to me, "You can't change your 
flag any more than you can change your 


It Is no wonder that Germans chose the 
birthday of their ruler for a national festival, 
for the birthday is a very important matter in 
a German home. The name days of the father 
and mother receive the most honor. The chil- 
dren take great pains in making presents for 
them, or composing poems and decorating 
them prettily, to present to dear Mutti or 
Papachcn when the great day arrives. When a 
child's birthday approaches he makes a wish- 
ing-list for his relatives to choose from in buy- 
ing presents. When he awakes on the morning 
of his birthday he knows that he will be the 
important person in the household until night. 
The birthday table Is all ready to greet him. 
It is covered with a white cloth and the big 
round flat cake, called a Torte, occupies the 
place of honor in the center. The owner's name 
is written on it in chocolate or sugar letters, 
and there are candles all around the edges for 
his age, with one In the center for life. The 
candles must burn out without being disturbed 
in order to bring good luck. Pots of flowers 
ornament the table and the presents are laid 
out around the cake. During the day friends 


come in to congratulate the birthday child 5 
bringing more flowers and presents, and each 
one receives a slice of the Torte. In the evening 
there is a party with games for the small child, 
or a dance for an older one. 

In Germany boys and girls have a growing- 
up day. This great event is prepared for by 
months of instruction. When it comes there 
is a happy but solemn ceremony to mark the 
change from the careless school child to the 
young person who will be treated like a 

It is a delightful occasion at home, for all 
the relatives come in to congratulate the young 
person who has reached this important time, 
parents and friends give presents, and there is a 
family feast. 

For all the people who belong to church this 
is a religious ceremony. The boys and girls are 
confirmed, or join the church, when they are 
fourteen and this event coincides with their 
leaving school, so it is indeed a day when youth 
turns from childhood to go out into the world. 
For about six weeks they attend classes in re- 
ligious teaching from the pastor, and in the 


spring, usually at Easter, the confirmation takes 
place. The boys and girls go to church, in plain 
dark clothes, the girls carrying bouquets o 
white flowers, each boy wearing a white flower 
in his buttonhole. 

Young Catholics receive their first com- 
munion when they are about twelve, so it is 
not quite such a growing-up day for them as 
for the others. The mass in which the boys and 
girls take part for the first time is a very beau- 
tiful and moving ceremony. We all know how 
the girls are dressed like little brides in white 
frocks, with long veils and wreaths on their 
heads. The boys do honor to the occasion by 
wearing a big white bow on one arm. The chil- 
dren march up the church in procession, sing- 
ing and carrying long wax tapers. 

Many people in Germany do not believe in 
churches, but their young people have the cele- 
bration of growing up just the same. They all 
go through a course of teaching and all the 
ceremonies take place in the spring. The Free- 
thinker Groups and the Socialists and Com- 
munists try to teach their young people about 
the evolution of life and the history of the 


world; to prepare them for what they will be 
up against in their world and to give them 
some philosophy. 

Then when the important day comes they 
assemble in their club houses or in schools. A 
joyous air hangs over the whole company for 
they are rejoicing with their comrades who 
have reached this turning point in their lives. 
There is sympathy and friendship in the talks 
which are made to the young people and a 
happy and spirited performance of folk dances, 
rhythmic dances, singing and orchestral music, 
by the other children of the groups. The boys 
and girls who are the center of the celebration 
are thrilled by the knowledge that this is all 
for them. 

Adolescence is a time when youth feels that 
childhood is past and that the world is opening 
out before them. It is very beautiful, I think, 
to have the importance of the age recognized 
and celebrated by the grown-up world. 


TN THESE chapters I have been giving you 
-^ a picture, incomplete it is true, of the coun- 
try in which German boys and girls live, what 
they like to do, and how they go to school. 

It is interesting to compare our life with that 
of our comrades in other lands, to know the 
likenesses and differences, and so come to un- 
derstanding and friendship with them. 

Young Germans are growing up in a land 


which is being entirely made over from the one 
in which their mothers and fathers have lived. 
Standards change in every land from genera- 
tion to generation, but no nation except Russia 
has been so completely turned upside down 
since the World War as Germany. 

Suppose that until thirteen years ago our 
country had been governed by an autocratic 
Kaiser, chief ruler over a collection of states, 
each with its own king or prince. And that, 
after war and revolution, all this was changed, 
and a democratic republic established, so that 
we had to get used to a form of government 
which had never been tried in our country. If 
such were our situation we could understand 
what is the background of life for German 
young people today. They themselves have not 
experienced the old regime, but it is so recent 
that everything in the country is still very un- 
certain and unsettled. 

Formerly the German people did not have 
to bother very much about government it was 
all arranged for them from above. Their 
princes and the Kaiser were picturesque figures 
who appeared before their people on state occa- 


slons In splendid uniforms or court costumes, 
and who lived in ornate palaces shut away from 
the gaze of the common people. Next to the 
rulers the army was the important thing and 
there was a very proud military caste. Every 
boy In the country had to spend several years 
of his youth in compulsory service in the army. 

There was a good deal of color and cere- 
mony about this system of government, and 
there were frequent pageants created by the as- 
sembling of officers and princes, which were 
pleasant for the people to watch. Distinctions 
between classes were sharply drawn, and nearly 
everyone in the country looked up to people 
of somewhat higher station than himself with 
respect and honor. Under this system everyone 
knew where he belonged and what was ex- 
pected of him. 

Of course there was a great deal of discon- 
tent under this regime. There were organiza- 
tions of people of various political ideas, from 
republican to revolutionary, who were opposed 
to it and wanted it abolished. The Socialists 
and Communists in particular had their own 
ideals of what the social order should be. 


Now everything is changed. The nobility 
and the military caste have lost their prestige 
although they keep their titles. People are no 
longer obliged to remain in the class to which 
they were born. Officially the country holds 
the democratic ideal of no class distinctions, 
though it will be a long time before the most 
conservative people of the land really accept 
and believe in that ideal It is interesting and 
significant that the first president of the Re- 
public, whose memory is honored by all, was a 
saddler by trade. Even more striking is it that 
President Hindenburg, old aristocrat and war- 
time general,, called the "Father of the Army/' 
serves his country honestly as a republican 
president, and has as his associates in govern- 
ment, men from the lower classes. Hindenburg 
is a fine type of the traditional German no- 
bilitypeople who placed honor, and duty to 
their country, above all other virtues. 

The pomp and ceremony of the old order is 
gone and governmental affairs are carried on 
with democratic simplicity. The palaces, hon- 
ored retreats of royalty, are no longer guarded 
by rigid soldiers, but are open to all The com- 


mon people wander through the magnificently 
ornate salons, and even the Kaiser's own apart- 
ments, enjoying the spectacle of these places 
which formerly possessed the glamour of the 
unknown. Already, to most people royalty has 
become a museum piece. According to an ar- 
ticle published by a member of the Reichstag 
about two years ago, "Kings and Kaisers are, 
for the new generation, neither sacred nor wor- 
shipful persons. For them they are figures only 
for the film and stage. 55 

Young people who live in conservative 
homes where their parents wish that they 
might have the well-ordered life of the past 
back again, meet a great deal of opposition to 
the new ideas. But in the majority of homes 
parents and children alike rejoice that their 
country has become a republic* One of the 
greatest causes for satisfaction is the abolition 
of compulsory military training. A boy may 
now go ahead with the work he wants to do 
without spending several years learning to be 
a soldier. 

All the people who were opposed to the Em- 
pire are glad that the old order is gone, but 


not all are pleased with the Republic. It is too 
conservative and tame for some, and too radical 
for others. 

Because of the present uncertainties and diffi- 
culties no one knows from day to day what 
may happen in government or business. Most 
people are poor and worried and thousands are 
out of work. It is very hard for many young 
men to get a start in life because of the scarcity 
of money and the great unemployment Manu- 
facturers are saving money by taking boys of 
sixteen at a very low wage rather than trained 
young men a few years older, so that those who 
have spent time in apprenticeship to a trade 
have difficulty finding work, If young men 
lose their jobs by any misfortune they have a 
terrible struggle to find others. I was told a 
tragic story of a young man of twenty-two who 
was a trained mechanic and doing well when, 
for some reason, he lost his job. Now he has 
been out of work for two years and is falling 
into despair because he feels that he is a failure. 
If he had a chance to work now he would have 
lost his skill through lack of practice and might 


not be able to hold the job. There are many 
such cases in Germany today. 

It is also true of the country that there is not 
place enough in business and industry to take 
care of all the people. A book was published in 
Germany last summer called A People With- 
out Room which discussed the great prob- 
lem of how this country without colonies for 
an outlet is to provide a living for all its 

Our country knew a certain amount of suf- 
fering and hardship during the war,, but it has 
left no mark. In Germany,, on the other hand, 
the memory of the war is ever-present and 
young people cannot help being affected by 
what happened to the spirit of the nation as a 
result of that catastrophe. They were a proud 
people, well pleased with their achievements 
and convinced that they and their ideas were 
superior to others. That pride has been crushed 
and humbled, they are faced with the problems 
of rebuilding their country and reestablishing 
their place in Europe. A young German said to 
a friend of mine, "You can never know what 


it is like to belong to the nation which lost the 


This is the other side of the picture from 
what the visitor to Germany sees. We find peo- 
ple going quietly about their work, interested 
in sports and theaters,, amusing themselves in 
parks and cafes,, as I have described them. We 
see the splendid stadiums which have been 
built and the fine modern architecture in the 
big cities. We are told of great educational 
schemes and plans for city parks and play- 
grounds which cannot yet be finished because 
there is no money for them. But although life 
is difficult at the present time and an atmos- 
phere of anxiety hangs over the country, yet 
everybody is working with cheerful patience 
and courage to create the new Germany. They 
have come back wonderfully from the years 
of disaster, and most people, except the con- 
servative die-hards, are glad that they have the 
opportunity to go forward as a progressive 
modern nation. 

Living under such conditions young Ger- 
mans naturally feel more sense of responsibility 
towards their country than we do. They are 


growing up with the very definite ideal o be- 
coming useful citizens. With the eagerness o 
youth they are repudiating the ideas of the 
past and looking forward to creating some- 
thing themselves. We see them working at it; 
developing healthy, well-trained bodies and 
free, active minds; seeking beauty in the dance, 
in music and other creative arts. 

They look to us in America for many things, 
admiring our skill in sports, our freedom of 
opportunity, the youthful daring spirit of our 
country. There is great kinship between the 
races, for in both there is vigor and vitality and 
readiness for adventure. 

There is now an organization for the pur- 
pose of arranging the exchange of students be- 
tween the United States and Germany. This 
is a splendid idea, for we have a great deal to 
gain from studying at a German university, 
learning the life of the country, and becoming 
friends with the young people, who are enough 
like us in spirit and physique to be racial 
cousins. They, too, have much to gain from a 
sojourn in our land. 

We are strangely different and strangely 


alike. For instance, young Germans are more 
serious than our boys and girls, they take both 
joy and trouble more heavily, and the circum- 
stances of their lives accentuate this. They 
could learn from us to be more lighthearted 
and happy-go-lucky. The German student, 
Klaus Mehnert, was impressed with the philo- 
sophical way his American comrades dismissed 
disagreeable or troublesome things which hap- 
pened to them with the light phrase "It's just 
too bad." 

On the other hand we could learn from that 
very seriousness which makes them think of 
something else in life besides having a good 
time. They really enjoy discussion and the ex- 
change of ideas, and they care for music and 
books which have real beauty. We could learn, 
too, from their simplicity and their capacity for 
enjoying themselves without spending much 

It is perhaps true that German boys and girls 
care more for ideas and less for material things 
than we do. That does not mean, however, that 
they are at all priggish. On the contrary they 
are sensible and straightforward and eager for 


fun. They are rather more gentle and quiet 
than our boys and girls and have more formal 

German life in general is more formal and 
polite than ours. They love titles of respect, and 
anyone who has an official or professional posi- 
tion has a tide and is carefully addressed by it. 
So you hear people called Herr Doctor So-and- 
So, or Herr Professor, or Herr Councilor. 
Their wives come in for a share of the honor 
and are addressed as Frau Doctor or Frau Pro- 
fessor. One must remember when speaking 
with a lady to call her gnddigc Frau. When so- 
cial behavior is so precisely regulated it is natu- 
ral that young people should address their el- 
ders with more formal respectfulness than we 
do. They are only recently breaking away from 
the strict family discipline of old times, so of 
course they sometimes go to the other extreme, 
and revolt against all control. 

As a rule, however, Germans are almost too 
much inclined to orderliness and obedience to 
authority. It might be a good thing if our in- 
clination to break away from rules could be 


shaken up with their conformity,, and thus a 
better balance obtained for both. 

Emotionally young Germans differ greatly 
from our boys and girls. They are much more 
romantic and not ashamed to let it be known, 
or to express thei* feelings and ideas without 

Above all, the young people of Germany 
are friendly. They have no hatred or antago- 
nism for people of other lands, except perhaps 
in some universities or higher schools where 
the old militaristic idea is fostered. When the 
Quakers, who were the first to hold out a help- 
ing hand to the suffering children of Germany, 
began furnishing food supplies to the people of 
Frankfurt, the children were surprised and de- 
lighted because, as they said, "We thought 
everybody hated us." Now they all know that 
the children of other lands do not hate them 
and that the distortions and bitternesses of war- 
time can be forgotten. They are eager for 
friendship, and the more understanding there 
is between the young people of different lands, 
the less likelihood is there of future wars. 

They are experimenting with a freedom 


which we take for granted. They look eagerly 
towards us, to learn how to be young and inde- 
pendent and rid of traditions which hamper 
and bind. We have much to give each other, 
for despite the fact that Germany is an old, 
old country, the United States and New Ger- 
many are both young nations. 

Their beautiful romantic country is there for 
us to explore. I should like to think that many 
young Americans could visit Germany. How 
hearty would be the greeting of these eager 
young folk who want us to share with them 
their excellent universities, their modern 
schools of the dance, and their wander-trips. 
Thus young America and young Germany 
could achieve a real comradeship* 

1 36 032